Scallops & Butternut Squash Risotto

U10 scallops are seared in butter, then served with a butternut squash risotto, pickled apples & fennel, and pumpkin seeds. It’s important to get “dry packed” scallops- meaning they aren’t treated with any preservatives, it makes for a better tasting scallop both in flavor and texture. This is a wonderful fall seafood recipe that packs a serious punch.

yields 2 plates

Pickled Apple & Fennel

Here are your fall pickles. Keep a jar of this around, not only for this dish- the pickles make a great ham sandwich addition. Made in advance.

Butternut Squash Sauce

Butternut Squash Sauce is used to flavor our risotto. This sauce is great to have on hand- use it as a spread for flat breads and sandwiches, or a pasta sauce.

Butternut Squash Risotto

  • 1 T unsalted butter

  • 1/2 C arborio rice

  • 3 1/2 C chicken stock

  • butternut squash sauce

Add stock to a small sauce pan, keep on the stove at low heat. This warmed stock with be slowly laddled into your risotto. In a large enamel-coated cast iron pan, melt butter at medium heat. Add rice and toast in butter for about a minute. Laddle about a 1/4 C of the warmed stock into rice, and stir to combine. Stir the rice until all the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat with the rest of the stock, at about a 1/4 C at a time until all the stock has been absorbed, and the rice is cooked. Make sure to keep stirring the entire time. This will take about 30-40 minutes- patience is key Add butternut squash sauce a T at a time to the risotto, add 3-5 T of the sauce, depending on your taste. Season risotto with salt and pepper.

Seared Scallops

  • 4 T unsalted butter

  • 8 U-10 dry-packed scallops

Place all scallops on a few paper towels, and thoroughly dry; set aside.  Add butter to a large enamel-coated cast iron pan.  Bring heat up to medium-high; allowing butter to melt.  Stir butter until foaming subsides, and the browning of milk solids can just start to be seen- the butter should be a golden-brown at this point.  Season scallops with salt and pepper, and add to the pan.  Do not disturb scallops for about 2 minutes.  Using tongs, flip scallops (there should be no resistance; if there is, scallops need to cook for longer).  Cook scallops for approximately another 2 minutes, while basting with butter.  When finished, set aside and assemble plates.

Scallops & Butternut Squash Risotto Assembly:

  • pickled apple & fennel

  • butternut squash sauce

  • butternut squash risotto

  • seared scallops

  • pumpkin seeds

  • chives, finely chopped

On each plate: Spoon a circle of the butternut squash sauce directly onto the middle of the plate. Plate risotto in a line down the middle of the sauce (half of the risotto for each plate). Place scallops directly on top of risotto. Tuck apple & fennel pickles directly alongside the scallops. Garnish with chives. Finish plate with flake salt and cracked black pepper.


cocktail: Maple Cider Fizz

beer: Saisons are a classic pairing with scallops.  The yeast and effervescent carbonation of a saison pair brilliantly with the clean and briny shellfish.  Some beers to look for: Blackberry Farms Classic, Boulevard Tank 7, Prairie Artisan Ales Prairie Ale, Saison Dupont.