Seared scallops with sweet pea risotto
(from BeSu’s recipe box)
The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni suggests individually quick- frozen or dry-packed scallops over wet-packed ones, as they contain less liquid and have more flavor.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 34 minutes
Serves 2 people
- 4 cups English peas, fresh or frozen, divided use
- 5 leaves mint, fresh
- 1 cup water
- Salt to taste
- fresh-ground pepper to taste
- Sugar, to taste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 6 jumbo scallops, about 1 1/2 ounces each
- Olive oil
- Pea sprouts, if available; garnish
For the pea purée:
Put 3 cups of peas into a blender, add mint and cup of cold water. Purée until smooth, adding additional water if needed until sauce reaches a smooth consistency. Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste. The sauce should have a slight sweetness and a hint of mint. This can be made 1 day before, if kept refrigerated.
For the risotto:
Follow directions on the bag, using the vegetable broth for the liquid.
As the rice absorbs the broth, add pea purée a little at a time until the texture of the rice becomes creamy and the color is bright green.
Divide the rice evenly onto two plates and garnish with the remaining peas. This process will take about 30 minutes to complete.
There are plenty of parcooked risottos on the market that will reduce the cooking time; just be sure to purchase a neutral flavor. Regular rice or even mashed potatoes can be substituted, but the creamy finish of the risotto adds depth to the dish.
For the scallops:
Place the thawed scallops on a clean kitchen cloth or a paper towel to absorb any excess liquid (the sugars in the scallop caramelize over heat much better when they’re dry).
Season lightly with salt and pepper and place in a preheated sauté pan with a tea- spoon of oil.
Cook approximately 2 minutes on each side and deglaze with a little chicken broth.
Remove from heat; allow to rest. The scallops will continue to cook and should be slightly translucent when done.
Remove scallops from pan and blot on a towel before placing on top of the risotto.
Toss pea sprouts with a few drops of olive oil, salt and pepper and garnish the dish.