Thursday, April 05, 2007

Lemon and Fennel Risotto with Scallops

It's a pity it couldn't be a little more pretty, but sometimes things just aren't so easy on the eye as the palate...

Imagine though, if you will, the creaminess of a risotto, cut through with clean, tangy lemon and studded with soft aniseed-y fennel. You place a little on your fork and add a slice of fried scallop with an almost caramel taste from the seared surfaces, and the inside all meaty and silky.

It's comforting and refreshing and a little bit special and chic all at once.

Make it. See for yourself...

Lemon and Fennel Risotto with Scallops
(serves 4)
  • Fry off a finely diced onion in a generous slug of olive oil over a low heat.
  • Once soft, add one fennel, cut into thin (about 5mm) slices.
  • Add about 400g/14oz arborio rice, and stir until all the rice is coated with oil.
  • Tip in a small glass of dry sherry or white wine and stir in.
  • Then add the juice and zest from two lemons and continue to stir.
  • Cover with a generous amount of vegetable stock, bring to a simmer and put the lid on. Stir every 5 minutes or so for the next 30-40 minutes, making sure the rice doesn't stick to the bottom, and adding more stock or hot water as required by the rice (I never bother with the one spoon at a time method - it's ever so consuming and I'm not sure it makes that much difference - do try not to forget your risotto tho - it will burn!)
  • When the rice is cooked to your taste, stir in a little butter and parmesan for extra creaminess (optional).
  • Heat a little oil in a frying pan til fairly hot, and sear 8 scallops on both sides. Turn heat down and cook for 3 or 4 minutes until cooked through.
  • Serve the risotto with a little parmesan and then the scallops and top, and some green beans on the side.


claudia said...

sounds wonderful. i just did a similar thing but instead of fennel used zucchini as per another blogger's recipe. my first foray into risotto land which won't be the last since it seems a resillent little grain ready to take on whatever you throw into it... ah, but scallops make anything and everything better. and yes, it IS hard to make risotto look beautiful in the bowl...

lydia saucepan said...

Thanks for the comment claudia! I think I had idea for lemon from a zucchini and lemon recipe I saw too - the fennel and scallops combo was from a Vogue E&T recipe though where they had fennel and leek risotto with scallops. I tried that and thought it a little bland, hence the lemon, which really is good in risottto...

Little Sister Saucepan said...

I made this with some added ginger to put some more zest in it and it was yummy!