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Appetizers, Fish and Shellfish

Seared scallops with vanilla risotto

Seared scallops with vanilla risotto
Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: My husband and I recently discovered Violet, a little neighborhood restaurant in Santa Monica that is truly outstanding. The dish that really stood out for us was seared scallops with vanilla risotto and baby artichokes. The flavors and ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4 as an appetizer
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons diced onion
  • 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 4 baby zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 12 sea scallops
  • Salt, pepper

Step 1Soften 1 tablespoon butter in a small bowl. Cut the vanilla bean in half, scrape out the seeds and combine the seeds with the butter. Set aside.

Step 2In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook on low heat for 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 3Stir in the white wine and half of the chicken stock. Cook, stirring until the stock has been absorbed. Once the stock is absorbed, continue to add the remaining chicken stock, a little at a time. Continue to stir to keep the risotto from sticking to the pan, cooking until the rice is al dente, about 18 minutes.

Step 4Remove the risotto from the heat and add the vanilla butter and the Parmesan. Stir until the butter and the cheese have melted and the risotto is creamy. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

Step 5In a separate nonstick saute pan or small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and lightly cook the zucchini rounds. Remove and keep warm.

Step 6Season the scallops with salt and pepper on both sides. To the same pan, add another 2 to 3 teaspoons oil and sear the scallops on high heat, about 2 minutes per side until they're opaque partway through for medium.

Step 7To serve, divide the risotto among four serving bowls, add the zucchini and top with the scallops.


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