I realized the other day that I haven’t made risotto for a couple of months and since we always enjoy a creamy risotto dish it was time I created a new one. I was at the store the day I was to make my risotto and saw the fishmonger adding some gorgeous huge fresh sea scallops to his display so my dinner plans began to quickly derail until I decided to combine the two. Now if I was using the smaller bay scallops, I could have simply folded them into my risotto, but it would have been a shame to cut up these lovely big scallops I bought so I decided to simply sear them and top my risotto dish with them. Since I was using scallops, which have a mild flavor I didn’t want to make a risotto that would overpower them so I decided to make a simple herb risotto. I loved the finished flavor combination and perhaps the only thing I might change when I make this dish again is to use a different broth, and to fold in more fresh basil at the end to add color since the basil turns dark green as it cooks. I didn’t have homemade chicken broth in my freezer as I usually do, so I chose a low sodium organic variety and it was quite dark in color which of course darkened the color of the completed risotto. As you can see in my photo our scallops were huge, and you really do not need them THAT large although they were delicious! This risotto on it’s own was so tasty that I plan to make it again and will fold in some oven roasted cherry tomatoes just before serving. Add some shaved Parmesan cheese to the risotto with tomatoes and I think it would be perfect.
Deborah Mele 2011
Creamy Basil Risotto With Seared Sea Scallops
This risotto is a delicious all-in -one complete meal in a bowl.
For The Risotto:
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
- 1 1/2 Cups Arborio Rice
- 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, Divided In Half
- 6 Cups Homemade Chicken Broth or 4 Cups Canned Broth And 2 Cups Water
- Salt & Pepper
To Finish The Risotto:
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Fresh Basil Leaves To Garnish
- 12 Medium Sized Fresh Sea Scallops, Patted Very Dry
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Heat the butter and oil in a heavy saucepan, then add the onions and cook until they are translucent.
- Add the rice and stir until it is well coated with the butter, following with the white wine, and stir continually over medium heat until it is absorbed.
- Stir in half the basil, chopped fine.
- Start to add 1/2 cup of hot broth, stirring as it is absorbed.
- Continue in this manner, adding ladles full of hot broth, and stirring continuously for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is cooked, but remains slightly firm to the teeth.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove from the heat, add the remaining butter, the rest of the basil chopped fine, and the Parmesan cheese.
- Serve, topping each bowl of risotto with 3 seared sea scallops and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
- When the risotto is almost cooked, heat the butter and olive oil until very ot.
- Arrange the scallops in the pan and cook for 2 minutes or until brown on one side.
- Turn, and cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve on top of the risotto.