This scallop risotto is paired with broccoli florets and corn, and simmered with saffron threads for a flavorful dish. Scallops are a great choice if you are looking to make a seafood risotto.
I’ve always thought that scallops were very delicious, but I rarely get the chance to enjoy them. My favorite way to cook scallops is to give them a quick pan-sear on both sides. There’s definitely an art to this. First, I make sure to pat down the scallops with a paper towel so that they are as dry as they can be; as you know, moisture is the enemy of a good sear. Then I sprinkle salt and pepper immediately before adding each scallop to the pan. The reason that I say immediately is because the scallop will release moisture as soon as it is salted. Once I place the scallop on the hot pan (greased with olive oil and butter), I do not move it until it’s done. I let a nice charred crust form before flipping it to repeat for the other side.
This recipe is one of those fancy dishes that you can make for a nice occasion. Not only do the scallops elevate the dish, but the addition of saffron most definitely qualifies this dish for a special occasion. I had bought a tiny jar of saffron from Trader Joe’s last year while experimenting with a paella recipe, and I’ve been saving it for something nice since then. I think it works well with this risotto. When added to rice and simmered, the saffron imbues a yellow color to the risotto’s ingredients.
The mechanics of making this scallop risotto are very similar to the instructions that I laid out for my butternut squash risotto with mushroom. Check out that post for descriptions and tips as well as information on how I make my own homemade vegetable stock.
Scallop risotto with saffron
This scallop risotto is paired with broccoli florets and corn, and simmered with saffron threads for a flavorful dish.
For the risotto:
For cooking the scallops:
- 12 sea scallops 1 pound
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
For the risotto:
Heat olive oil in a large 5 quart saute pan over medium heat. Add broccoli and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add rice, vegetable stock, corn, and saffron to the pan. Mix everything together. Bring to a boil and then decrease to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes.
Uncover the pan and check that the rice is tender and done. Simmer with the pan uncovered for a few minutes to evaporate any excess liquid.
Add sliced scallions (reserving a quarter) and butter to the pan and stir as it melts.
For the scallops:
Pat the scallops dry with paper towels. Moisture is the enemy of a good pan sear.
Heat olive oil on a pan over medium heat for a few minutes. Add butter.
Salt and pepper the scallops on one side and immediately add to the pan, with the seasoned side facing the pan. Don’t move them until a nice crust appears, about 2 minutes.
Flip the scallops to repeat for the other side.
Distribute the risotto and scallops among 4 bowls. Garnish with remaining scallions.