I’m never one to toot my own horn, but this is definitely one of the best dinners I have ever eaten. Corey and I stopped by our local fish market this afternoon to pick up some fresh seafood for this week’s dinners. We are big fans of scallops, and they were having a sale on bay scallops, so we decided to bring some home. Bay scallops are the small ones, not the big diver scallops that you get at fancy restaurants (which are also delicious, of course!). I often use bay scallops for pasta dishes, but Corey was actually the one who suggested we make a risotto with our scallops. The wheels started turning in the kitchen part of my brain, and this recipe was born!
I think most people automatically assume risotto is a very fattening dish, because of its creamy texture and rich flavor. However, there is not an ounce of cream in this recipe! The creaminess comes from the starches in the rice that develop from the continuous stirring that you have to do when making risotto. I love dishes that taste fattening but really aren’t!
I had a bunch of vegetables that I bought last week at the produce market that needed to be used up, so instead of just making my usual roasted broccoli, I decided to throw in a Vidalia onion and some chunks of butternut squash. They added great color to my plate and were oh-so-flavorful!
I have to warn you, this dish is a major arm workout! You really can’t leave the stove for the 20 minutes this takes to cook, because you have to keep stirring everytime you add liquid to the pot. It’s worth the effort!
3/4 pound bay scallops, rinsed and patted dry
2 cups Arborio rice
8 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 tablespoons EVOO, divided into 4 and 2
1 celery stalk, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons Smart Balance spread
You will need two pots for this dish.
In a larger pot, heat the 4 tablespoons EVOO over medium heat. Add the celery and onion to the pot, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. In the other pot, pour in the 8 cups of chicken stock and heat over medium-low heat until hot (not boiling).
Add the garlic to the pot with the celery and onion. Cook for a minute, then add the rice.
Pour in the white wine and cook, stirring continuously until the liquid is almost all evaporated.
Add one cup of chicken stock to the pot, and continue stirring until almost all the liquid is absorbed by the rice.
Repeat this step for about 20 minutes, adding liquid and stirring until absorbed, until you taste the rice and it is cooked but still has a “bite” to it.
Remove from heat. Add the parmesan cheese and the butter and stir everything together. Cover with a lid and set aside.
In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO over medium-high heat. Season the scallops with salt. Add the scallops to the skillet and sear on one side for one minute. Turn over and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Squeeze the lemon over the scallops. Add the scallops to the risotto and combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with an extra sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Roasted Butternut Squash, Broccoli and Sweet Onions
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 1/2 Vidalia onions, peeled and cut into wedges
3 tablespoons EVOO
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons EVOO
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. On a baking sheet, lay out the vegetables in one layer. Pour EVOO over top of the veggies, and sprinkle with the salt and garlic powder. Use your hands to toss everything together. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 425, use a spatula to flip the vegetables, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.