Scallops and Risotto is one of my favorite dishes! I absolutely LOVE scallops and the creamy, cheesy risotto is beyond amazing. I finish it with a little butter to make it extra creamy then some lemon to brighten the flavors. Nothing says comfort like a big bowl of risotto!
Risotto is one of my favorite ways to use up asparagus. If you don’t have leeks, you can easily substitute onions. No frozen peas? Leave ’em out! Mushrooms are a good addition to risotto if you’re looking to add or substitute anything. This Scallops and Risotto dish is really an easy dish to make, it just requires some hanging around the pot and stirring.
Ingredients for Scallops and Risotto
- Arborio Rice
- Olive Oil
- Romano Cheese
- White Wine
- Chicken Stock
- Parmesan Rind
- Kosher Salt
- All Purpose Flour (Rice flour would work here as well)
Tips for the best Scallops and Risotto
- Get your pan VERY hot before you sear the scallops otherwise you won’t get a nice sear or even a sear at all
- Soak and rinse your leeks! Leeks have SO much dirt and grit in them you absolutely have to soak them in water, swish them around and then rinse them before using
- Stir the risotto frequently but not constantly
- Heat the chicken stock to a simmer or just below before adding it a little at a time
- Add the chicken stock about 1 cup at a time, don’t dump it all in at once. You’ll have a nice creamy risotto this way
- Cook the risotto at a simmer so you’re not standing at the stove alllllll day
How to get a nice sear on the scallops
This is super important when searing anything and I think a lot of people are afraid of it but GET THE PAN HOT. You’ll want to turn the heat on high and wait a solid 60-90 seconds before adding oil. Add the oil, swirl it around then wait another 10 seconds. Add the scallops and DO NOT TOUCH THEM until its time to flip them, so about 4 minutes on each side. This searing process is the same for anything that you want to sear. The time you want to leave it on each side before flipping and removing will vary depending on the thickness of what you’re cooking.
What you can serve with Scallops and Risotto
- A salad, for instance my Strawberry Summer Salad!
- Roasted or grilled veggies such as asparagus, zucchini or cauliflower. Try out my Grilled Asparagus with Sherry Vinaigrette!
- Garlic Bread
How to make Risotto
Slice the leeks and put them in a small bowl of water then swish them back and forth to get all the dirt out. Dump them into a colander and rinse with cold water. Dry them with a paper towel and set them to the side.
Drizzle the olive oil into a large soup pot of Dutch oven over medium – low heat and add the leeks. Let them sweat until they just start getting soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle a little kosher salt in with the leeks. While the leeks are cooking, shave the asparagus. To shave the asparagus you can just use the a potato peeler and start about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the stalk and run the peeler upwards. Continue doing this until it’s so thin that you can’t shave anymore. Discard the ends of the asparagus.
If you have a little bit of asparagus left that was too flimsy to peel, just chop it into small pieces and add it in the same time you add the shaved asparagus. You could also save it and use it in soups!
Warm the chicken stock up in a sauce pot on the stove, just to a simmer. Leave it in the pot at a simmer or just below. You’ll start adding this a little at a time after the Arborio rice is toasted.
After the leeks begin to get soft, add the Arborio rice and let it toast for several minutes, stirring it around from time to time. Add about 1 tsp of kosher salt. Add the white wine to deglaze the pot while stirring and scraping the bottom.
Begin adding the chicken stock about 1 cup at a time. Stir it well after each addition and frequently there after. Add in the parmesan rinds. At this point the risotto should be at a low simmer. Keep it here the rest of the cooking process. When most of the liquid is soaked up add another cup of stock. Continue doing this until all of the stock is in the risotto.
While the risotto is simmering, add the olive oil to a small sauce pot and heat over high heat until it reaches around 350°F. While the oil is warming pour the flour (all purpose or rice flour) and salt into a bowl. Add the sliced leeks to the bowl and toss to coat. Immediately fry the leeks until they are a light to medium brown then remove with a slotted spoon and set them on a stack of several paper towels to catch the extra oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and set aside.
Add the shaved asparagus and peas, stir for 1 more minute. Add the Romano cheese and stir to incorporate then add the butter and stir until melted. Squeeze in the lemon juice then give it a good stir and you’re risotto is ready!
Sear the scallops and place them in bowls on top of the risotto. Top with crispy leeks and dive in!
If you make Scallops and Risotto please leave a rating and/or comment! Also tag me in your Instagram photos, I love to see what you’re cooking up!
Scallops and Risotto
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 cups leeks sliced, soaked
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ¾ cups white wine dry
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 3 chunks parmesan rind 1-2 inch chunks
- 1 cup asparagus shaved
- ½ cup peas
- ¾ cup Romano cheese grated
- 4 tbsp butter
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 cup leeks sliced, soaked
- 2 tsp flour
- ¼ tsp kosher salt plus a pinch, divided
- 12 scallops jumbo
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Make the risotto
- Prepare the leeks for the risotto and crispy fried leeks. Using only the white bottom half of the leeks, slice both ends off and slice it lengthwise down the center. Then slice into thin half moons
- Add the leeks to a bowl full of cold water and soak for 1-2 minutes while swishing them around. Dump them into a colander, rinse, drain then dry with a paper towel
- Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over low – medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the leeks to the pot and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook the leeks about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the leeks are cooking, shave the asparagus using a potato peeler. Snap the bottom ⅓ off the asparagus and shave as much as you can off of each stalk. Whatever is left of the stalk can be chopped small and used in the risotto, discarded or saved for something else.
- Heat up the chicken stock on the stove in a sauce pan. Keep at a simmer or just below
- Add the Arborio rice and 1 tsp of salt to the pot and toast for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the white wine and stir up all the bits off the bottom of the pan
- Add one cup of the stock to the Arborio rice and stir frequently. Add in the parmesan rinds at the same time
- Continue adding stock 1 cup at a time and stirring occasionally until all liquid is added and rice is al dente
- Once you reach that point then add the asparagus and peas, stirring occasionally for 1 minute
- Add the Romano cheese and stir until fully incorporated
- Add the butter and stir until melted
- Add the juice of half a lemon and stir. Turn off heat and set to the side while finishing the scallops and leeks
Fry the leeks
- Heat a small sauce pot over high heat and add the oil
- While the oil is heating, mix the flour and ½ tsp of salt in a small bowl
- Add the leeks and toss to coat. Fry the leeks immediately and remove from oil with a slotted spoon when crispy and a medium color brown. Set on a couple paper towels to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp of salt and set to the side
Sear the scallops
- Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium – high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the olive oil and swirl around the pan to coat
- Season the scallops with salt and pepper and place them in the skillet. DO NOT touch them for about 4 minutes until it's time to flip them
- Flip the scallops and cook for another 3-4 minutes
- Remove from heat and set on a plate
Plating the Scallops and Risotto
- Scoop risotto into a bowl, add scallops and top with crispy fried leeks. Enjoy!