Scallop Risotto

In honour of Seafood Month, this Scallop Risotto celebrates the flavours of both our land and sea. The result? A mouth-watering local twist on an Italian classic! Roasted butternut squash and seared Nova Scotia scallops help create this warm, comforting dish. Paired with a glass of Tidal Bay, this recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


24 large scallops
2 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 large butternut squash
2 cups water
900 ml vegetable broth
2 leeks, cut into 1/4 inch ribbons
8 large sage leaves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups grated asiago


Preparation time: 50 minutes

Serves: 6
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel squash, and cut into segments no more than an inch thick. Lay the squash out on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake for 50 minutes or until tender and the outside edges have browned, then set aside to cool.
  2. Once the squash has cooled, put it in a blender with vegetable broth and blend until smooth. Transfer the squash liquid to a saucepan over medium heat, and whisk in two cups of water and a few pinches of salt. This liquid will eventually be added to the risotto to flavour it.
  3. In a large saucepan, on medium-low heat, sweat the leek with a bit of oil until tender and translucent. Add the arborio rice to the pan and let toast for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add wine and mix until fully absorbed.
  4. The next step is cooking the risotto by slowly adding all or most of the warm squash liquid to the pan, a cup at a time. Stay closely and stir the risotto frequently during this period, so that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan, or burn. Add a cup of squash broth every 3-4 minutes, until it is all gone, or until the rice is cooked, but has a slight firmness. You should be tasting small amounts of the rice every few minutes towards the end to know it’s doneness. Towards the end of the cooking add finely chopped sage. If you run out of squash broth before the rice is cooked, use water, then re-season the risotto afterwards. Mix in the grated cheese.
  5. Set a cash iron pan, or skillet, over medium heat with a teaspoon of oil. Rinse the scallops, then set to dry on paper towel. Pat the scallops dry on all sides, for a better sear, and season with kosher salt. Place in the hot pan to sear. Do not agitate the pan, or move the scallops. If you wish to know how much the scallop is searing, just peek under one, with some tongs. Be patient and wait for browning. Once you see that they have browned and crusted along the edges flip them all over. Towards the end, turn the heat to low, and add a knob of butter to the pan, and spoon it over the scallops.
  6. Spoon the risotto onto plates, and add 3-4 scallops to the top of each, fishing with more grated cheese and some shoots or chives.

Local Source Guide:

Local Produce: Pick up all of your local produce at Noggins Corner Farm MarketStirling Fruit FarmsMasstown Market or one of the many other Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia.

Local Seafood: The teams at Evan’s Seafood & Restaurant, Arichat Seafood Market, Clearwater Seafoods Ltd. or Fishermen’s Market have you covered for all of your local seafood needs.

Local Wine: For a great Tidal Bay, look no further than some of our great vineyards, such as Luckett Vineyards, L’Acadie Vineyards, Grand Pré Wines, Sainte-Famille Wines or Devonian Coast Wineries.

Recipe provided by: Jessica Emin, @eatwithjessie

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