This beautiful-tasting dish features juicy sea scallops which are sautéed in the traditional way, and then doused in champagne and cooked in that for a minute, to infuse them with the elegant flavor. These scallops are then served on top of risotto, which is also made in the traditional manner, by adding a little liquid it a time and waiting for it to soak in or evaporate before adding another splash, stirring all the time.
The artichokes add a delicious flavor to this scallop risotto and you can choose from fresh or canned ones. Either kind will work but the fresh ones require more cooking time, so should be added earlier in the recipe. This dish is finished off by stirring some butter and parmesan into the risotto to give it a rich, creamy finish.
This classic Italian recipe can be served with a simple green salad on the side. Risotto is always an impressive dish when made correctly and if you want to make something elegant then this dish is always a winner because it looks great, smells amazing and tastes incredible. You can also make it from start to finish in about half an hour; it is not something that takes ages to cook.
- 20 sea scallops
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 2 cups risotto rice
- 8 chopped canned or fresh artichoke hearts
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup butter
- ½ cup champagne
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 pints chicken broth
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Pea shoots, for garnish
- Heat ½ the butter in a large pot and sauté the onions until translucent.
- Add the rice and artichoke hearts (if you are using fresh ones), and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
- Pour in the wine, stirring all the time, until it has evaporated.
- Add 1 pint of the chicken broth, stirring all the time, until the broth evaporates.
- Keep cooking the rice, pouring the broth in a pint at a time, stirring until the liquid evaporates before adding more.
- Continue until the liquid has gone and the rice is cooked.
- If you are using canned artichokes, add them a couple of minutes before the rice is cooked.
- Stir the rest of the butter into the rice, and then add the parmesan.
- Remove the pot from heat.
- Season the scallops with salt and black pepper and sauté them in hot oil in a skillet for 2 minutes per side.
- Pour in the champagne and sauté for 1 minute.
- Divide the risotto between 4 serving plates, and then top with the scallops.
- Garnish with pea shoots.
Scallops are often served alone or with some kind of sauce, so using them to top risotto might be something you have never done before. As a home cook, it is important to learn new recipes, and your family is sure to appreciate you making the effort to provide delicious food. Risotto is a classic Italian recipe which has stood the test of time, and every self-respecting Italian grandmother and mother knows how to make delicious risotto which is creamy without being too rich and flavorful without being over-seasoned. This could be a meal for a special evening with the family, or you could even present it when hosting a dinner party. It is certainly special enough.
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