Sweet Pea Risotto with Seared Scallops

September 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

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With the passing of Labor Day and the start of classes, the end of summer, unfortunately, feels more tangible. We’ll have to wait until next year to again soak up the sun at the beach, have the luxury of spending as much time outdoors as we want, and enjoy plentiful ripe berries, peaches, and nectarines. But fortunately, we are heading towards another great season- fall! It’s one of my favorite seasons partly because I absolutely love seeing the leaves on the trees around me change color, incorporating pumpkin into anything and everything, and, of course, wearing sweaters and boots.

In honor of this seasonal transition, I’m sharing this recipe for sweet pea risotto with seared scallops! The bright peas and lighter scallops keep the dish from being too heavy, and as the temperature slowly begins to drop, a nice bowl of warm risotto always hits the spot. Honestly, I am down to eat this risotto all year round because it’s just that good.

Risotto has the reputation of being intimidating and a hassle to make. Cooking risotto isn’t actually difficult- it just involves some love and care but what good things in life don’t involve these things?

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Risotto is so versatile and comforting that I find any excuse to make a large pot of this creamy, satisfying dish. You’re going to want to make a lot of this too because it is so delicious and leftovers will be your reward for the extra effort you put in. Pan-seared risotto cakes are also a mouthwatering way to enjoy any leftovers, that is if you don’t finish it straight from the pot!

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This time I paired sweet peas with meaty diver scallops for a lighter dinner. The peas are folded in after the rice is cooked through- half of the peas are pureed while the other half are kept whole. By doing this, the risotto turns a beautifully vibrant green hue from the puree and has a great texture contrast from the scattering of whole peas. Scallops are my favorite addition to this risotto because they are slightly sweet, like the peas, and help lighten the overall dish but still leave you feeling satisfied. Honestly in my opinion, scallops are always a good idea! Simply season with salt and pepper, sear in hot oil so a nice crust forms, and that’s it. Absolute perfection.

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A bowl of this, a glass (or more) of white wine, and some good company is my definition of a great night. Hope you enjoy! 

Sweet Pea Risotto with Seared Scallops

Yield: 4-5 servings

Recipe from Tyler Florence

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock, heated
  • Olive oil
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 lb diver scallops (~4 per person)

Directions:

In a blender, puree 1 cup peas with 1/3 cup chicken stock until smooth; set aside.

Heat olive oil in cast iron Dutch oven or large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add celery and shallots and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, making sure all the grains are coated with oil. Add wine and cook until most of the liquid has been reduced.

Ladle 1 cup of hot stock and use a wooden spoon to stir gently until most of the stock has been absorbed. Continue adding stock in the same way and stir constantly. After 10-15 minutes, test the rice; it should be cooked and creamy but still maintain a slight bite (there may be leftover stock). Stir in butter and Parmesan. Gently fold in pea puree and remaining 1 cup whole peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and cover.

Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Pat scallops with a paper towel so they are completely dry; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Add scallops to pan, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until nicely browned on both sides, about 4-8 minutes depending on size of scallops.

Add more stock to the risotto if it is too thick. In individual shallow bowls or plates, serve risotto with 4 scallops. Garnish with Parmesan and extra-virgin olive oil, if desired. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers; when ready to eat, heat risotto on the stove and if needed, add more stock to thin risotto to desired consistency.

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