Seared Scallops with Jerusalem Artichoke Risotto

Deliciously creamy, this flavoursome risotto made by Claire Macdonald, makes a good match with delicately flavoured sea-fresh scallops
By Claire Macdonald
Seared Scallops with Jerusalem Artichoke Risotto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6 as a starter, or 4 as a main course
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the scallops

  • 3 very large king scallops, per person, or 4 smaller scallops
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • black pepper

For the risotto

  • 750 g jerusalem artichokes
  • 1.8 litres chicken stock
  • 2 onions, or 4 large shallots, finely diced
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 375 g risotto rice, either Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • grating nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Method

1. Combine the scallops with the olive oil and grind over plenty of black pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 10 minutes - longer if you can manage it - perhaps a couple of hours.

2. Peel and roughly chop the artichokes before simmering in stock until tender. Drain the artichokes, reserving the stock, and transfer to the goblet of a liquidiser. Process until smooth - you might need to add a dash of stock to help it along its way. Combine the artichoke purée with the stock and whisk until blended together.

3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan set over a moderate heat and fry the diced onions or shallots for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are quite soft and transparent-looking.

4. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring all the time, until the rice is well-coated with the olive oil. Pour in the white wine and cook down until evaporated, stirring all the time.

5. Add about a fifth of the artichoke stock. Stir and simmer until it has been nearly absorbed by the rice before adding more.

6. Continue adding the stock in batches until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the final batch of stock and take the rice off the heat. Season with salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg. Cover the pan and set on one side.

7. Heat a frying pan over a high heat, but don't add any oil. When it's very hot, lift the scallops from their olive oil and put them onto the hot base of the pan. Don't move them for half a minute, then turn each one over and cook for a further 30 seconds. They'll start to caramelise as they sear - the trick is in not overcooking them.

8. Just before serving, stir the chopped parsley into the warm risotto and spoon onto warmed plates. Top with the seared scallops and serve.

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