Scallop Risotto

Local Ocean’s Special
with Winter Squash, Parsnip + Spinach

TIME: 45 minutes

SERVING SIZE: 6 scallops per person

Weathervane Scallops
Arborio Rice
Housemade Shellfish + Vegetable Broth
Winter Squash Peel + Parsnip Peep
Fried Winter Squash
Parmesan Cheese
Herb Butter
Mint-Basil Gremolata

2 tbsp oil for cooking
Salt + pepper to taste


Note from the Local Ocean Kitchen - Risotto is a classic Italian preparation using short grain rice that is packed with starch. Cooking the rice in stages with warm stock draws the starch out into the sauce, making it seem creamy without using any cream.

1. Heat the Stock - In a medium saucepan, heat the stock to a simmer. Lower the heat so the stock stays hot while you cook the risotto.

2. Build the Risotto - In a separate, large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat ½ the herb butter along with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped shallot. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly translucent. Slice the sage into thin strips and add to the pan.

3. Add the rice to the pot and stir it with a wooden spoon so the grains are coated with the oil and melted butter. Sauté for a minute or so, until there is a slightly nutty aroma. Do not let the rice turn brown.  Add a ladle (about 6 ounces) of hot shellfish and vegetable broth to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of the broth, and repeat the process until all the liquid has been absorbed. The next few steps are started when a certain amount of the broth has been added to the pot.

4. Once you’ve added about ½ the broth, cook the scallops - Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons cooking oil. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot but not smoking, add the scallops, giving adequate space between them to avoid overcrowding. Sear for about 1 ½ minutes per side – flip them to the other side once they are browned. Turn off the pan and they will finish cooking (about 1 ½ minutes longer). Pull them from the pan to rest while you finish the risotto (make sure to reserve any liquid that comes from them while resting – you’ll add it back into the rice later).

If you don’t have enough space on the stove for a third pan, you may wait to until after you’ve finished the risotto to cook the scallops.  Once the scallops have finished resting, drizzle the liquid from the scallop pan over the risotto for an extra boost of flavor.

5. Once you’ve added about ¾ the broth, add the winter squash and parsnip peels, and the fried winter squash to the pot with the risotto. Stir gently and continue cooking.

6. Once you’ve added the last of the broth to the pan, continue cooking until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Stir in the remaining herb butter, spinach, and Parmesan cheese along with the liquid from the cooked scallops. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. To Serve – divide the risotto evenly among large pasta or dinner bowls. Top with the scallops. Spoon the mint-basil gremolata over the top of the dish as desired. Garnish with pepitas. Enjoy!

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Unless you are a SCUBA diver, chances are you will never eat an Oregon wild scallop.  While Oregon does not have a commercial fishery, our neighbors do.  We love the taste and texture of Alaskan weathervane scallops harvested by the Fishing Vessel (FV) Provider.  The crew catches, shucks, cleans, size-sorts, boxes and rapid-deep-freezes the scallop within four short hours of capture.  These are what we call “dry pack”. They are not soaked in water or chemicals, as is done to so many other varieties of scallop worldwide.


Updated January 5th, 2021

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