Cheesy, comforting risotto for a romantic Friday night!
Raise your hand if you love risotto… do I see all the hands, everywhere, going up? Good, then you’re in the right place because creamy, cheesy, buttery risotto is my favorite, too.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve shared a risotto recipe.
I was on a roll a while back… there was Spring Vegetable Risotto, Mushroom Pea Risotto, and then Corn and Prosciutto Risotto. I realized I had to get back on my risotto train because y’all love comforting dinners too.
I know risotto can seem intimidating with all the pressure of constantly stirring it, never taking your eyes off of it, figuring out how much liquid has soaked into the rice. It’s all a lie! I mean, yes, it requires a lot of stirring, but not in a high-pressure way.
Risotto is one of the most comforting dishes to make, in my humble opinion, because of the process. With a wine glass in one hand and a spoon in the other, the stirring is rhythmic and lends itself well to dancing. Make it a date night dinner – dancing with your loved one – and the romance will be out of the roof!
Or, live that fabulous single girl life, belt out the tunes at the top of your lungs with zero shame, and have an extra glass of wine while you stir. Either way, you’ll be living your best life.
So this risotto. I lightened it up a little more than my typical risottos, I mean, I am trying to stay a little more in balance lately. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of parmesan and just enough butter to add to the ultimate creaminess that’s inherently part of risotto. But just a little less of it. And a lot more kale, which I’ve been obsessed with lately.
Yes, maybe I’m late (ok, really late) to the kale game. But lately, I’ve been buying dino kale in bulk. Kale’s tough enough to add some bulk and texture to the risotto, but wilts down so lovely and adds a burst of texture to the risotto.
And let’s just talk about these seared scallops for a second. I love seared scallops – they’re tender and luscious and slightly buttery, making it the perfect partner to the rich, buttery Parmesan Kale Risotto.
How do you feel about searing scallops? Maybe your’e scared off by risotto, maybe you’re scared off by searing scallops, maybe you’re not scared by any of it, in which case, skip on down to the recipe. If you’re worried about searing scallops, DON’T BE! You guys – stay true and saying FU to fear because there’s nothing to be afraid of!
Especially because we get to use a little more butter to do the searing.
Once your scallops are in the pan, the key is to let them be!
Let them get a golden crust seared on one side; moving them all around is going to ruin that. So let it be. Drink a little more wine. They’ll let up some when it’s time to flip, you’ll sear the next side, and bam – perfection. Translucent, golden buttery edges.
As a garnish, drizzle on, the now browned, butter the scallops cooked in for an extra indulgent treat!
Parmesan Kale Risotto for Two
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- Optional: dash red pepper flakes
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 5 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 cups loosely packed dino kale, chopped
- 4-6 sea scallops
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a saucepan, heat vegetable broth over low-medium heat.
- In a dutch oven or stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add yellow onion, cook for one minute. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt; sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, continuing to stir so it doesn't burn.
- Add arborio rice and stir to coat, for one minute. Deglaze pan with white wine, stirring rice until absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of vegetable stock at a time, stirring constantly between each addition and only adding another once most of the liquid is absorbed. After you've added approximately 2 cups, taste test the doneness of the rice. Continue adding stock little by little, stirring, until rice is al dente. You may have stock remaining. Once rice is cooked until chewy, not crunchy, add kale.
- Turn off heat, add parmesan and 3 Tablespoons butter. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined.
- Melt remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Pat scallops dry and salt and pepper one side. Once butter is starting to bubble slightly, add scallops, salt side down. Cook for 4 minutes, not moving them more than once or twice to ensure they're not sticking. Salt and pepper the other side while cooking. Flip when the edge is golden brown, cook the remaining side for an additional 4 minutes, until translucent and golden brown.
- Top risotto with scallops and serve immediately. To take it to the next level, drizzle the now browned butter from the scallops on top of risotto.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
Inspired by Pinch of Yum’s Brown Butter Scallops with Parmesan Risotto.