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+ servings
Bowl of spring vegetable risotto topped with three seared scallops.

Seared Scallops with Spring Vegetable Risotto

Author - Serena Wolf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4


  • 1 cup fresh fava beans or fresh peas
  • 8 asparagus spears woody portions of stems removed and slice into ½ inch pieces
  • 3-4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 leeks white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • Salt

For the scallops:

  • 12 large scallops about 1 lb
  • tablespoons butter
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • Freshly grated lemon zest optional


  • Start by preparing your fava beans. To remove the fava beans from the pods all you have to do is snap the end and pull the string that runs the length of the pod. The beans will come right out.
  • Blanche your fava beans in boiling water for 1 minute, drain. Transfer them to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Once they are cool you will need to peel them. Yes, fava beans have two layers. Remove the outer waxy coating to get to the bright green beans inside. Set aside.
  • Move on to the asparagus. Remove the woody stems (they will break off naturally when you bend the bottom of each spear), and slice into ½ inch pieces. Cook for three minutes in boiling water, drain and transfer to ice water (this will keep stop the cooking and keep them nice and green). Set aside.
  • Pour the chicken stock into a pot and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and keep it at a simmer while cooking your risotto.
  • Place the minced onion, garlic, and leeks in a large saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil. Saute for 3 minutes until the onions become translucent.
  • Add the Arborio rice and stir until the rice is coated with oil.
  • Add the white wine to the rice and allow it evaporate completely. This should take about 2 minutes.
  • Pour 1 cup of warm chicken stock over the rice and cook at a low simmer, stirring periodically.
  • When the rice has absorbed the liquid (about 10 minutes), add the second cup of chicken stock. Allow the liquid to absorb and then add the final cup of chicken stock. When the final cup has absorbed, your risotto should be just tender and delicious. (If it’s not, don’t panic, just add a little more chicken stock).
  • When your risotto is tender, stir in the fava beans and asparagus. Cook for 1 minutes until the beans and asparagus are heated through. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the parmesan and lemon zest. Add salt to taste.
  • During the last few minutes of the risotto's cooking time, sear the scallops. Pat your scallops dry with paper towels. You want them to be very dry, people. This is crucial to get a good sear. Season the scallops on both sides with salt and white pepper. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet or pan until very hot (it should literally be smoking). Add the scallops to the pan, making sure that they are not touching. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan. Sear them for 90 seconds on each side (set your phone timer or something). RESIST THE URGE TO MOVE YOUR SCALLOPS FOR THE FULL 90 SECONDS. This will be very difficult, as you will want to see how they are doing. They are doing fine, thank you. Moving them will disrupt the formation of that nice golden brown crust. Don’t do it. Carefully remove your seared scallops from the pan. They should have a golden crust on the outside but still be translucent in the center. Top your scallops with a little grated lemon zest if you’re feeling fancy. Serve over the Spring Vegetable Risotto.