Epicure Recipe Card #39: Asparagus Risotto with Scallops

My husband loves scallops – grilled, sashimi, carpaccio – so imagine his delight when he found out the next recipe card would be featuring them. Buoyed by my recent risotto success, I decided to try making another one to make sure the last attempt wasn't a fluke. And there is nothing quite like the comfort of a slightly mushy, but far from sloppy, easy-to-eat one-pot meal. It’s the sort of meal you want to cup in your hands on a cool rainy day, curled up on the couch, perhaps with a good book, magazine or a blanket laid across your lap.

As asparagus is of fluctuating quality and prices throughout the year, frozen peas make a great substitute. Their sweet taste of spring – think risotto or pasta primavera – work just as well with scallops and there is the added advantage that almost everyone will have a bag of them in the freezer at the ready.

Asparagus Risotto with Scallops (serves 2)
(adapted from The Age – Epicure 50 Best Recipe Cards, recipe by Jill Dupleix)

·         1 tbs olive oil
·         scallops (as many as you like)
·         ½ onion, finely diced
·         1 cup risotto rice, unwashed
·         700mL hot, simmering vegetable or chicken stock (you may need more or less than this)
·         1 bunch of asparagus, tips lopped off and the stalked sliced into thin rounds
·         1 tbs butter
·         1 tbs grated lemon rind (optional)

  1. Heat ½ tbs oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and cook scallops until lightly browned on either side. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, add the remaining oil then add onion to the pan. Cook until onion is soft and translucent before adding rice. Stir rice to coat well before adding two ladles of stock. Allow to absorb almost completely before adding more stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir gently and keep adding enough stock to keep the rice wet.
  3. In the meantime, drop asparagus tips into simmering stock until tender then remove and set aside. Add sliced ends into the stock until bright green before stirring into the rice.
  4. Take a grain of rice and check for doneness – it should be soft and sticky but still retain a little bite. When rice is just about ready, stir butter through risotto before returning scallops and asparagus tips to the pan to heat through. Season to taste.
  5. Serve risotto topped with grated lemon rind, if desired.
 happy cooking!


  1. Nice dish! The scallop really makes the risotto so luxurious. I've recently started making 'proper' risotto, too, and it isn't that hard at all (I'm surprised!).

  2. Asparagus and scallops, what a perfect combination. Your risotto looks delicious. Risotto is a bit of hit and miss for me. Look like you have mastered it.

  3. Lucky lucky hubby! That risotto looks divine - keep these lovely dishes coming!

  4. I am always looking for different combos for risotto. This one looks lovely! nom nom nom.

  5. Oh bugger. I'm eating dinner as I read this, and I don't have any asparagus in my bowl o' vegies as they were a bit dear and I was feeling stingy. Luckily I do have some peas in there, but your photo is making me miss the little stalks of joy! Looks like a great risotto, no flukes at all :)

  6. This looks gorgeous - I'm almost tempted to make this myself despite fear of risotto!

  7. yummy your rissoto looks great :O)

  8. Risotto agli asparigi!!!! Great recipe!! I like it!!
    Nice to see your blog, ciao from Rome, Italy :)

  9. Mmm look at those juicy scallops on top! I really like the look of this! :D

  10. Hey Rebecca, thanks!

    Hey Belle, I'd be happy to have it just with the asparagus but I agree that the scallops add that special touch!

    Hey the lacquer spoon, risotto paired with different flavours can suit all the seasons =)

    Hey Kath, thank you! But it's taken me many misses to work risotto out =p

    Hey Trissa, lucky the husband eats almost anything!

    Hey Amy, I think you can throw almost anything into risotto =D

    Hey Conor, always so sad when asparagus season is over =(

    Hey Rose, go on, try making risotto again - I didn't give up!

    Hey Betty, thank you!

    Hey Zia, thank you for visiting! And so happy to have your Italian approval for my risotto =D

    Hey Lorraine, thanks! The scallops are probably my husband's favourite part as well!

  11. I love the risotto............with the asparagus chunks. Yummy

  12. Hey Kitchen Butterfly, asparagus always adds some beautiful colour and absolutely represents spring, in my opinon =)


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