Lemon-Zucchini Risotto with Scallops

3 min read

Sitting outside with my laptop and hearing the up and coming thunderstorm approaching, I wanted to share yesterday’s dish. When I’m on holiday I love to experiment with food as I finally have a little bit more time and a couple of extra mouths to feed. I love to play around with whatever I can cook on a BBQ. Baking a pizza one day is a dream of mine, is that weird? Anyway, back to yesterday’s dinner. At least once while staying here, I need to eat scallops, this is simply not up for this discussion. This year I decided to combine it with a fresh tasting risotto, a lemon-zucchini risotto with scallops that is. See how I made it below!

Ingredients

For The Risotto:

– 300 grams of risotto rice (I used Arborio)
– 2 zucchini, cubed
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 1 teaspoon of thyme
– 1 teaspoon of paprika Powder
– Fishstock or water and a decent quality fishstock cube
– Peper and salt
– 1 glass of white wine
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 3 tablespoons of truffle oil
– 100 grams of parmesan cheese

For The Scallops:

– Scallops to your liking, I chose about 100g per person of 3 to 5 big scallops per person
– Zest of 1 lime and 1 lemon
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 1/4 of a bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
– 3 tablespoons of olive oil
– Peper

Toppings:

– Rocket/Rucola leaves
– Flat-leaf parsley
– Mint

Start by marinating your scallops. In a bowl add your chopped garlic, lemon and lime zest (rinse them well!), the juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, peper, flat-leaf parsley and stir. Add in your scallops and leave them in the fridge for a while.

For the risotto, start by poring a couple of table spoons of olive oil in a pan and fry up the garlic and onion. Throw in the zucchini cubes and add in the herbs, thyme, peper, salt and paprika powder. Swirl the zucchini in the oil and allow to fry up a little bit. After a minute or so add the risotto rice. It is important to swirl the rice in the oil as well. Add in the glass of wine and allow the alcohol to evaporate. When you can see that the rice has soaked up almost all of the wine, it’s time to add in your (warm) fishstock. Take the double amount of liquid to rice that you are using. Traditionally this stock is added in small portions but I’m lazy and add it all at once. At home I put it in the oven but you can also put it on a low heat. Stir once and put a lid on it. It will take about 20 minutes to cook. Try not to stir too often as you can break the rice, but then again, don’t allow it to burn either. When the rice is cooked (with a slight bite to it), take it off the heat. Stir well and you will see it turning into a creamy substance. Add in your parmesan cheese to taste and stir well. Finish off with the tablespoons of truffle oil and the juice of the lemon. At this final stage, whether your adding the cheese, truffle oil or  lemon juice, taste it while your adding the ingredients. This is how you make sure that the balance is perfect.

When your risotto has soaked up almost all of the moisture it is time to start baking your scallops. As they have been sitting in lemon juice, they are already slightly cooked. When you’re working with big scallops, you can put them directly on the grill. Grill them until you can easily remove them from the grill and you can see the meat turning an opaque white (in stead of a glossy white when they’re raw). When working with smaller ones, just put a sheet of aluminum foil on the grill so they don’t fall through.

Serve the dish with a couple of tablespoons of risotto, the scallops on top and garnish with your rocket, mint and parsley mixture. It might sound strange to put salad on top, but trust me, it’s worth while.

Lemon-zucchini risotto with scallops recipe

Lemon-zucchini risotto with scallops recipe2

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Lemon-Zucchini Risotto with Scallops