Recipe: Seared Scallops over Butternut Squash Risotto
This is my one of my absolute favorite recipes — honest to goodness, I adore this dish. It requires a bit of technique. But I am confident you can master two simple processes without issue: The sear of the scallop and the simmer and stir of the risotto.
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 45 minutes
- 1 large (3 pound) butternut squash
- 3 1/2-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 medium leek, white and light green part only, sliced and washed well
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup Arborio (risotto) rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, optional*
- 1 tablespoon snipped chives plus 8 extra chives stems for garnish
- 2 tablespoons grape seed or canola oil
- 12 dry-packed scallops
*Some traditionalists don't like the flavor of Italian seafood-inspired dishes seasoned with Parmesan. I like the flavor of Parmesan in this dish, but I leave it to your discretion.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Halve squash lengthwise and discard seeds. Peel one half and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place remaining half, cut side down, on an oiled shallow baking pan. Surround with diced squash. Lightly season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.?
3. Bake on middle rack of oven, turning diced squash once, until lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes. Remove diced squash and reserve. Continue baking squash half until it is easily pricked with a fork, an additional 15- 20 minutes. Scoop out flesh and coarsely chop.?
4. Bring broth to a simmer.?
5. In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, sauté; leeks in butter until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice and sauté, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine. Simmer and stir until wine is absorbed.?
6. Continue simmering and stirring and adding broth, about 1/4 cup at a time, adding more as liquid is absorbed, until half the broth has been added. Stir in coarsely chopped squash (reserving diced squash for later use) and continue simmering and adding broth as described until rice is creamy yet slightly firm to the bite, or to your palate.?
7. Add reserved diced squash and stir briefly until just heated through. Stir in Parmesan, if desired, chopped chives and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover.?
8. As you are finishing your risotto, heat oil to medium high or high heat in large sauté pan. Gently pat scallops dry with paper towels and lightly season on one side with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. When oil is shimmering, sear the scallops until lightly browned on both sides and slightly translucent in the center.?
9. Divide risotto between 4 plates and top each plate with 3 scallops. Knot chives together (see photo) for garnishing and immediately serve.
This recipe was written by Peggy Lampman and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on Oct. 14, 2011.