Cauliflower Lemon Risotto with Scallops
Risottos are one of my favourite special meals to make. Time consuming, yet very worth all the labour. This is the recipe that I make most frequently when it comes to risotto.
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
salt and pepper
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups of chicken stock
1 1/4 cups of Arborio rice
3/4 cup of white wine
1 1/2 cups of edamame beans
zest and juice from 1 lemon (Zest the lemon first, then squeeze the juice out)
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 pound of fresh scallops
Step 1: In a large pot, add the chicken stock and the cauliflower. Bring to a simmer and let the cauliflower cook for 8-10 minutes before using the stock in the risotto.
Step 2: While the cauliflower cooks, in a large frying pan over medium heat, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the celery and onion. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté the veggies for 5 minutes before adding the garlic. Add the garlic, mix around and sauté for 1 minute.
Step 3: Add the rice to the vegetable mixture. Mix around and cook for 3-4 minutes. Now add the white wine. With a big wooden spoon (your main tool for this job), mix around the rice and the white wine, letting the rice absorb the liquid.
Step 4: Add the edamame beans into the chicken stock with the cauliflower.
Step 5: Once all the wine is absorbed, it's time to ladle in the stock (just the stock at this point, leave behind the beans and cauliflower). One ladle at a time. Continue to mix/stir the liquid into the rice. Generally this is the longest process of this meal, takes around 15-20 minutes.
Step 6: When the stock is half gone, it's time to start incorporating the beans and cauliflower into the risotto. If some of the cauliflower pieces are too large, break them up as you add them.
Step 7: To perfect the art of multitasking, while the risotto is cooking, prepare and cook your scallops. Dry the scallops off with paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of butter. Once the butter has melted, add your scallops. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do the scallops in batches. Cook the scallops, 3 minutes on one side...check one before your flip..there should be a nice golden brown crust on them. Flip them over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. They don't need a lot of time. Remove to a plate and reserve until use. (See my recipe for seared scallops here.)
Step 8: When the stock is almost gone, add the lemon juice and zest. Finish incorporating the stock. When you are done, add the Parmesan cheese. Mix in and now the risotto is ready to be served!
Step 9: To plate, divide the risotto onto bowls and top off with your seared scallops, serve and ENJOY!