Green pea risotto with seared scallops
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Fiona Anderson
Scallops are in season and baby peas are always in the freezer and the garden offers up the rest of the flavours for this punchy green risotto.
- In a small pot of lightly salted boiling water, blanch baby peas for 1 minute before straining in a large colander and refreshing under cold running water until completely cold.
- Place spinach, parsley, mint and peas into a food processor and blend with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper with just enough hot stock to allow the mixture to move in the blender. Blend until as smooth as possible before pouring out on to a large flat plate. Place into the refrigerator and cool to retain bright green colour.
- In a heavy-based saucepan heat half the olive oil and half the butter. Add onion, celery and fennel and sweat on a medium heat, until soft and translucent, stirring often. Don’t allow the vegetables to colour.
- Add rice and cook for 1 minute before adding vermouth. Continue to stir frequently and once rice has absorbed the alcohol add warm stock, in small amounts, stirring between each addition. After 10 minutes test rice by biting into a few grains. When it has almost lost its crunch it is nearly ready. Fold in remaining butter, half the parmesan and lemon juice and season to taste. Stir in pea puree until just combined and keep warm.
- In a separate heavy-based frying pan, heat remaining olive oil over a very high heat. Lightly season scallops with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, add to the hot pan and sear for 20 seconds on each side or until just cooked. Remove scallops from pan.
- Divide risotto between 4 plates and place scallops on top of risotto, finishing with remaining parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.