Lemon Risotto With Asparagus and Baby Scallops

Creamy risotto pairs deliciously with a Sauvignon Blanc, like the 2010 Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Folded in are plump baby scallops and tender asparagus spears.

Servings: 4

Cook Time: 1 hour

Pair With: A Sauvignon Blanc with citrus notes.

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi, Touring & Tasting Food Editor

INGREDIENTS

6 asparagus spears, cut into 4" pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lb baby scallops

5 cups chicken broth

3 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, minced

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Fill a mixing bowl halfway with half ice and half water. Bring a small pot of water to boil and cook the asparagus for a couple of minutes until cooked but not too soft. Remove asparagus with a slotted spoon and plunge into the ice water for half a minute. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet (cast iron works best) over medium high heat and sear the scallops on all sides. Remove to a plate, cover and set aside. Bring broth to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.

Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sweat (cook without browning) until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add rice and stir well to coat the grains. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add enough broth to cover the rice and cook, stirring continually. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more, and stirring continually until rice is creamy and cooked al dente, 30 - 40 minutes. The risotto should be moist enough spread out on the bottom of the pan when stirred and not clump together. Stir in cheese, parsley, lemon juice, lemon peel and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in the scallops and and asparagus cook for another minute to reheat the scallops.

 

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Chef's Notes:

Firm up your biceps and make creamy risotto! Continual stirring is required as the creaminess comes from the outer part of the rice being stirred into the sauce, not from dairy. Lemon juice and zest gives a bright flavor to the dish.