Looking for some seasonal seafood inspiration? Whether you like the taste of something lighter for summer, or you’re just looking for a new classic to add to your recipe repertoire – we’ll be sharing some of our seafood favourites on the site. Take a look at this super simple recipe for a zesty seared scallop and garden pea risotto.
Sometimes there’s nothing better than getting into the kitchen to try out some delicious new dishes. When the sun starts shining and the nights get longer, I often find myself scrolling through the recipe sites, and the shelf of seafood cookbooks I’ve accumulated over the years. This delicious scallop dish is a real treat for any day of the week. Combining creamy risotto rice, with zesty lemon juice, vibrant green garden peas and fresh scallops, this recipe is sure to light up your taste buds for the spring.
While we’re normally drawn to mediterranean flavours and the rich sauces of continental european cuisines – we love this really quick risotto recipe, which is more of a twist on classic seafood flavours found in the UK. We already know that the UK is home to a wealth of fantastic local seafood, and I’m lucky enough to be close to the heart of the scottish shellfish market where I live, so can easily access one of my absolute favourite ingredients for any time of the year – fresh, locally sourced scallops!
With a slightly sweet, and meaty texture – scallops take on fresh flavours so well, and are definitely really easy to prepare and cook. Source them from a local supplier and they’ll come pre-prepared, but for me, there’s something quite satisfying about preparing them yourself and serving scallops back in their shells – even just for the photography purposes.
- 350g Risotto Rice
- 8 Fresh Scallops
- 750ml Vegetable Stock
- 125g Frozen Garden Peas
- 100g Gran Padano, Finely Grated
- 100ml Dry White Wine
- 50ml Sour Cream
- 4 Shallots, Finely Chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped
- 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
- 1 tsp. Dried Basil
- 1 Lemon, Zested & Juiced
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 30g Butter, Cubed
- Mixed Leaves & Rocket
- For the risotto, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat. Add the chopped shallots, dried herbs and garlic cloves and cook for a few minutes until softened and translucent.
- Add the risotto rice and toast in the flavoured oil for a minute or two, continuously moving around the pan, before adding the white wine, salt and pepper to taste and simmer.
- Stir well and allow the dried herbs, shallots and oil to coat the rice. Slowly add the stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring occasionally until the risotto rice softens a little. Feel free to add a little more or less of the stock depending on how it is cooking. You are aiming for a nice creamy consistency and the rice to still have a bit of a bite at this stage.
- Mix in the frozen garden peas and gran padano and gently heat until the peas are cooked through and the cheese has melted. Remove from the heat while you prepare the scallops.
- To cook the scallops, heat the butter in a large pan on a high heat. Season the scallops with a squeeze of lemon juice and a little black pepper. Add the scallops to the pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes depending on the size, searing on each side until golden brown.
- Pop the risotto onto a low heat and stir through the sour cream, lemon zest and juice.
- Serve a generous spoonful of the risotto and top with the seared scallops. Serve alongside a dressed mixed salad, with some rocket leaves for a peppery lift.
Scallops are a wonderful species of shellfish to cook with, and are incredibly versatile. A delicious and highly regarded shellfish, scallops are a popular choice when dining out or when preparing a special occasion meal at home. Rich in omega-3 oils and high in protein, scallops are quite healthy and a great way to start on shellfish if you’re not a confident cook.
While many scallops are caught using dredging methods, there is also a strong UK market for premium quality hand dived scallops – particularly off the coast of Scotland. A superb starter in or out of the shell, scallop meat has a sweet, delicate flavour, and requires minimal cooking – the simpler the better; steamed, pan-fried or grilled. Although they have a delicate flavour they can take strong, meaty accompaniments – they are brilliant served with chorizo or black pudding for example.
If you’re looking to buy great seafood in the UK – then why not take a look at direct delivery services like The Fish Society who offer fantastic fresh seafood across the country direct from sea to plate. I work with them as one of their affiliate partners, and they’re now my go-to when it comes to buying fresh seafood products. Supporting a great business is great, and their products are fantastic.
Be sure to buy sustainable seafood where possible. By looking out for the MSC’s Blue Tick Label you can be assured that the fish and shellfish you’re buying has been caught in a sustainable way – meaning we’ll all be able to taste fantastic seafood for generations to come.