Pan Seared Scallops With Sweet Pea, Tarragon and Lemon Risotto

Makes approximately 8 servings---1/2 c. each (each serving is around 210 calories)
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients for Risotto:
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen sweet peas (If using fresh, be sure to blanch them.  If using frozen, simply let thaw)
  • 4 to 5 c. Vegetable Stock (I used 2 c. homemade chicken stock and 3 c. store bought veggie stock)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves- minced
  • 3 shallots- chopped
  • 1 c. uncooked Arborio rice 
  • 3 tbsp. dry white wine (I used a dry marsala)
  • 1/2 c. fresh Parmesan cheese- grated
  • zest and juice of 1 small lemon (I used a meyer lemon)
  • salt- to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper- to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese (may substitute butter)
Directions for Risotto:

  • Bring Stock to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
  • Pour 2 tbsp. olive oil into a heavy bottomed pan (I used my dutch oven) and heat over medium-high flame.  Once the oil is hot, add the shallot and garlic--stirring constantly.  You don't want the shallot to take on a brown color, but you want it to be cooked through and semi-translucent --approximately 3 to 4 minutes.  
  • Once the shallot and garlic are cooked, add the chopped tarragon and thyme.  Stir to combine. 
  • Add the uncooked rice to the pot and cook (stirring constantly) for about a minute.  Add 3 tbsp. wine to deglaze. Keep stirring the rice until all the wine seems to be absorbed and the pan is looking dry. 
  • Add one ladle of stock (approximately 1/2 c.) and stir until nearly all of it is absorbed by the rice.  Keep stirring and adding stock 1/2 c. at a time as the rice absorbs it.  I ended up using about 5 cups of stock, but it will really depend on how long your rice takes to cook (you want the rice to be al dente --it should have a little bite to it) and how creamy you like your risotto. This process will take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. 
  • Stir in peas and cook the risotto for about 1 minute before adding the cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Keep cooking and stirring until the cheese is melted and is no longer "stringy."  The risotto should have a nice thick, creamy consistency at this point. Remove from heat.  Stir in the 1 tbsp. mascarpone cheese to finish.  
  • Serve as soon as possible for best flavor.

Ingredients for Scallops:
(increase as needed for more servings.  This will make 2 servings of 3 scallops each)

  • 6 wild caught sea scallops (dry packed)
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 large sprig of fresh tarragon
  • salt- to season
  • pepper- to season
Directions for Scallops:
  • Dry scallops with a paper towel and set aside on a plate.  Season the scallops with salt and pepper.  Don't be shy with the seasoning, most of it will get lost in the pan and won't stick to the scallop.
  • Heat 1/2 tbsp. olive oil in a medium sized non-stick pan.  Once the oil is hot add the scallops one at a time in a circular position.  (Imagine a clock.  You'll want to place the scallops at approximately 12:00, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00, 8:00 and 10:00--this will ensure the scallops cook evenly).  
  • Scallops cook quickly.  Sear the first side for about a minute.  When you notice some nice color, flip the scallops.  Cook for 30 seconds and then add the butter and fresh herbs to the center of the pan.  Let the butter cook for about a minute.
  • You'll notice the butter will begin to brown and smell a little nutty.  Spoon the butter over each of the scallops, and cook for about 30 seconds more.  
  • Remove the scallops from the pan and place them on a plate with paper towels.  You can drizzle the left over browned butter over the scallops if you'd like.  
  • Serve immediately on top of the risotto. 



Original recipe and photos can be found @ www.myfancypantry.com
Comments