Chef Jared Simons, Violet Restaurant, Santa Monica, CA
Yield: 4 small-plate servings.
12 scallops (approximately 1 lb.)
1/2 cup arborio rice
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 Tbsp. olive oil
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. diced onion
4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 vanilla bean
4 baby zucchini (sliced round and thin)
to taste, salt
to taste, pepper
Prepare vanilla butter. Soften 4 Tbsp. butter in a small bowl, cut vanilla bean in half. Scrape seeds and combine with butter. Set aside.
In a large flat skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter with 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add onion and saute until translucent. Stir in rice and toast on low heat 1-2 minutes. Then stir in white wine and 350 ml of chicken stock. Stir with wooden spoon until stock has been absorbed. Once stock has asborbed, continue to add remaining chicken stock a little at a time and continue to stir to keep risotto from sticking to the pan. Once rice is al dente, remove from heat and add vanilla butter and Parmesan. Continue to stir risotto until the butter and cheese have melted and risotto is creamy. Set aside.
Lightly saute zucchini in the remaining olive oil. Season scallops with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear on high heat in a nonstick pan with 1 tsp. olive oil for approximately 2 minutes on each side to serve scallops medium.
Place risotto in four serving bowls, then add baby zucchini and top with scallops.