My husband adores scallops, and I honestly don’t make them that often. This recipe is absolutely fabulous. The seared scallops alongside the creamy pesto risotto taste like fine dining right in the comfort of your own home.
Yield 2 - 3 servings
4 heaping cups of basil
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
⅓ cup pine nuts
½ lemon, zested
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
½ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
Salt and pepper
In a food processor, blend the basil and garlic into a paste-like consistency. Next, add the nuts, lemon zest, and lemon juice while pulsing until that mixes into the paste. While the processor is on, slowly pour the oil through the spout. At this point, it should now have the consistency of a very thick sauce. Remove the pesto from the food processor into a bowl and stir in the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside.
Risotto and Scallops
Salt and pepper
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup onion, finely chopped
1½ cups arborio rice
1 tsp garlic, minced
½ cup dry white wine
6 scallops, side muscles removed and patted dry
Heat the broth in a saucepan until boiling and reduce the heat to low.
In a large saucepan or skillet on medium-high heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until the onions are translucent. Turn the heat down to medium, add rice and garlic, and stir to coat with the oil. Next, add the wine and stir until the wine is absorbed. Pour the hot broth on the rice, half a cup at a time, and continue stirring until the broth is absorbed. Keep stirring and adding broth for approximately 20 minutes. Taste the rice as you go. It should be barely cooked through and not mushy.
Continue adding broth and stirring for about three to five minutes until the rice is creamy.
As you are cooking and stirring the risotto, heat a nonstick skillet to medium-high. Drizzle a little olive oil in the pan and season the scallops with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, sear the scallops on each side for approximately 2 -3 minutes until they are golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
Remove the risotto pan from the heat and stir in ⅓ cup pesto. Season it with salt and pepper, place the scallops on top, and serve immediately.
Just Salt It, and enjoy!