Pan Seared Scallops with a Fava Bean Pesto Risotto

The first time I ever tried scallops I think I was about 19 years old and with a newfound interest in food but barely cooking myself.  I was at a restaurant, actually to be honest I think it was Macaroni Grill which is funny to me now since I would probably never order scallops from a macaroni grill, mimis cafe, chilis or the like at this point in my life.  I ordered a salad with scallops on it I remember and really had very little idea what scallops were or how they tasted, and remembering it now I think I forced my way through that first taste test.  There was nothing dramatically offensive about them, but the texture was slightly slimy however there was zero fish taste and in fact it is a notoriously sweeter taste.  I’ve posted one other recipe with scallops and it was a salad with sliced strawberries and seared scallops and because of the sweetness of the scallops the pairing with the strawberries was fantastic.

This time, I chose a more savory approach but one which I had at a restaurant shortly before I made this recipe.  I found that the risotto was a perfect pairing because of the creamy texture of risotto and the smooth texture of the scallops .  Overall this was not the most difficult thing I have attempted to make but it does take a bit of dedication, a moderate amount of planning, and a step by step adherence to the recipe.

I chose to add the fava beans mainly because they are in season but also because they seemed like a fun ingredient that I had seen at the farmers market.  Which is honestly how I choose the recipes I make.  Something seems fun, and there ya go.  Fava beans are not much different than cooking other fresh beans, but the thing to remember about favas is that they are double shelled, meaning there is the outer shell that holds the individual beans and then each bean has a softer shell that also needs to be removed. HERE is a good step by step of how to cook them.

For anyone who thinks scallops are beyond their skill, they are wrong and anyone who things scallops are too expensive is misadvised.  Granted, you will get a better quality scallop from a fish market but you can get some just fine from most supermarkets these days.

I found the risotto recipe HERE , and the seared scallop recipe HERE.

{The second shell coming off}

{And then, the risotto.  As long as you stay close to the stove you shouldn’t have too many issues with the risotto}

{As the rice absorbs the chicken stock, the rice will cook and the mixture will get slightly thicker and will develop the notorious creamy consistency of risotto}

{So at this point is where there should be pictures of scallops being cooked, however, I feel like raw scallops are not that pretty so I didn’t take any.  But the recipe I linked has great step by steps}

{The finished plate!}

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