30 March 2014

IHCC - Pan Seared Scallops with Spinach and Lemon Zested Risotto

... dinner in about 30 minutes ... no kidding! ...

It's been a long stretch of time since I posted a dish with the members of the I Heart Cooking Club, but checking in this week, I realized that this is the last week for honoring the dishes and work of Donna Hay. I had fun getting to know Donna Hay during the time that the club has concentrated efforts on her cuisine.  I've been meaning to make this dish for ages and had it bookmarked since the turn of the year. Guess it's time to make it, don't you think ? Besides, the Atlantic sea scallops were really nice at the market the other day!

So ... see ya later, Donna Hay! Let's see what everyone else is making to send off  Donna before the new chef is welcomed for the next session of the I Heart Cooking Club! Hit the link for the club and check out some of the dishes the club members have prepared!

Seared Scallops with Lemon and Spinach Risotto for Two

Scallops Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil
10 large sea scallops, cleaned and hinge flesh trimmed
Kosher salt and black pepper

Risotto Ingredients:

2¾  c. chicken stock
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 c. Arborio rice\1 tsp. lemon zest
5 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
1 pat butter
Kosher salt and black pepper
Parmesan cheese (about ¼ c.)

Making the Dish:

  1. Heat a heavy saucepan over medium heat, adding the olive oil and shallots. Sweta the shallots until they glisten.
  2. Add the Arborios rice and let the rice roast in the oils, tossing to coat the grains and brown slightly.
  3. Add the chicken stock, one cup at a time, stirring to make a creamy slurry. As the rice absorbs, the stock, keep adding more stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently while you prepare the spinach and scallops.
  4. Rinse the spinach leaves and pick them over well.
  5. In a shallow fry pan, melt the butter pat over medium high heat. When the butter, bubbles, add the rinsed spinach, toss to coat, and cover to wilt the spinach.
  6. Turn the heat off and set the spinach aside.
  7. When the risotto has absorbed almost all the stock, add the lemon zest and the wilted spinach. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Turn the heat off under the pan and set it aside.
  8. Wipe out the spinach fry pan and return it to the stove top over medium-high heat.
  9. Sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper.
  10. Spritz the pan with olive oil and place the scallops in the hot pan. Sear for 2 minutes without moving them a bit. Turn them after two minutes ad repeat the searing time.
  11. Place the risotto on a warm platter and place the scallops on top.
  12. Serve immediately with a side salad or vegetable.

Thinking back over the dishes, I shared ... I thought I'd give you some of my favorites that came from here at the The Spice Garden ... so here goes ...

... Donna Hay's Pizza Pie ... 
... when I learned that capers and olives on pizza really work well ! ...

... Donna Hay's Chocolate Macaroon Sandwiches ...
... when I learned just how easy macaroons are to make ! ...

... Donna Hay's Roasted Cauliflower, Sage and Almond Risotto ...
... when I learned to never fear stacking vegetables atop the sacred  risotto ...

... Donna Hay's Apple and Chai Spiced Cheesecake ...
... when I happily added one more notch on the cheesecake belt ...and loosened the belt a bit more ...


  1. Look at that gorgeous colour on your scallops! I love seafood risotto, and this one looks particularly delicious, especially with lemon and the added spinach - very nice touch.

  2. I love that people think risotto takes so much time when actually it's such a fast meal. It's my go to meal when guests turn up out if the blue. Love the flavours here and adore the scallops. Gorgeous!!

  3. Wow, the scallops are simply mouth-watering! It looks really delicious, served over the spinach risotto! A beautiful dish!
    And delicious round-up, I can see why they are your favourites!

  4. I am loving this dish! The scallops look perfect and so does the risotto. YUM!

  5. Surely this is a site well worth seeing.

  6. Seafood with lemon and spinach is my idea of a perfect meal. You picked a beautiful dish to end our time with Donna Hay.

  7. Seared scallops are a fave of mine. To have them with a good risotto is heaven. Your faves look great.

  8. I would actually be perfectly happy if something like this was the last meal I had on earth - it embraces simplicity, elegance, flavour and "comfort" all on one plate, and you really can't ask for better than that. Lovely to have you with us for our final fling with Donna Hay, and thanks for sharing all your favourites as well.

  9. Scallops and risotto is a perfect combo. It looks so good--great searing on those scallops.
    You made some fabulous Donna dishes. I still want to make those chocolate macaroon sandwiches-yum!

  10. you got the perfect sear - I love scallops!


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