There’s just something about the caramelized crust and meaty interior of scallops that makes them the perfect protein. They are also a total blank canvas, so it’s important to let them shine with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper. However, that means whatever scallops are served with has to take the lead with big, bold flavor. Cue basil-pineapple risotto! Once you make risotto with pineapple juice, you’ll be hard-pressed to go without it ever again. If you’re looking to wow guests with a meal they’d be most likely to find in a five-star restaurant, then this is your dish.
Excerpted from THE SECRET INGREDIENT COOKBOOK © 2021 by Kelly Senyei. Photography © 2021 by Robert Bredvad. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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- 2 Cups pineapple juice
- 1 1/2 Cup vegetable broth
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 Cup minced yellow onion
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/4 Cup Arborio rice
- 3/4 Cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 Teaspoon black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 3 Tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 1 Pound sea scallops, divided
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
- 1/2 Cup microgreens, for serving
Step 1: Combine 2 cups pineapple juice and 1 1/2 cups broth in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover with a lid and remove from the heat.
Step 2: Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add 1/3 cups minced onion and 1 tablespoon minced garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/4 cups rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Step 3: Add a ladle of the hot juice mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed. Continue adding the hot liquid to the saucepan, one ladle at a time and stirring intermittently, until the rice is no longer crunchy, about 30 minutes.
Step 4: Stir in 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, then turn off the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons basil.
Step 5: Pat 1 pound scallops dry, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add half the scallops and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. Flip the scallops once, then tilt the skillet and baste them with the oil. Continue cooking thescallops an additional 1 minute, until no longer translucent. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining scallops, adding more oil as needed.
Step 6: Divide the risotto among serving plates and top with the scallops. Garnish with microgreens and serve.