Scallop Mushroom Risotto with spinach and a touch of parmesan, a delicious dinner for 2 that is healthy and so easy to make too. It might look like a restaurant-style dish, but making it at home takes less than 30 minutes, and it's less expensive too.
January wouldn't be the same without its famous New Year's Resolutions. And the most popular one is, of course, healthier eating. Which isn't quite that bad if you think about it. At least not for myself. After pigging out during the festive season, healthier food options would be more than welcome.
And while I would love to give up sugar and carbs for ever and ever, let's face it, it won't happen. So, at least I will try my best to limit the aforementioned culprits and go for healthier dishes. Easier said than done, right?
Well, it doesn't have to be that hard either. Healthy food can be as delicious as one wishes, and just swapping a few ingredients can bring good results too. And if veganuary is not an option, seafood is a much better, healthier choice to ensure the body gets all the goodness it needs.
Risotto is one dish I absolutely love to make at home. Why pay a fortune at a restaurant when the homemade one is even more delicious? And trust me, a lot cheaper too. Throw in some good fresh veggies, some scallops (or any other seafood of your choice), and you get a dish to lick your fingers clean.
- risotto rice - Arborio rice
- white mushrooms - chopped
- fresh spinach
- onion - either yellow or red, or shallots
- vegetable stock - broth, chicken broth can also be used for extra flavour
- butter - salted or unsalted
- olive oil
- grated parmesan
- salt & ground black pepper
Now, as with all my homemade cooking, swaps are allowed as long as they don't ruin the taste or consistency of the dish. If you don't have scallops, any other seafood would work, with prawns/shrimp being the next best choice. Spinach can be replaced with kale, cavolo nero or omitted if you don't have any.
The one thing that can't be substituted is the risotto rice - arborio rice. This has the perfect texture to make a creamy risotto, I can't guarantee the same results if any other rice is used.
Step-by-step photos and instructions
- start by cooking to mushrooms: melt the butter, add the chopped mushrooms and a pinch of salt, and leave to cook until liquid is released
- add the chopped garlic, and cook more until all the liquid has been absorbed and the mushrooms are a brown colour
- remove from the pan and set aside
- melt some more butter, add the chopped onion, and fry gently to get a golden colour
- add the rice, and stir for 30 seconds until the rice becomes translucent
- add the mushrooms, and one ladleful of the stock at a time, and stir well until you have one ladleful left of stock
- the fresh spinach can be added now too, this wilts quickly
- pour in the remaining stock, season to taste with salt and pepper, cover the pan with the lid, and leave to rest for 5 minutes
- to sear the scallops, melt the butter and olive oil, and arrange the scallops in the pan
- fry on each side until lightly brown and cooked through
- top the risotto with parmesan and the seared scallops
The golden rule of any good risotto is slow cooking it to achieve that perfect creamy texture. Yes, it's quite a pain to have to stir it continually, but the effort is well worth it. I don't add wine to my risottos, and l see nothing different or less tasty about it.
Other risotto recipes
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Scallop Mushroom Risotto
- 1 cup risotto rice (arborio rice)
- 2 cups chopped white mushrooms
- ½ cup fresh spinach
- 1 onion
- 4 cups vegetable stock/broth
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoon grated parmesan
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup scallops
- Melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan, add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt, and leave to cook until they start to release liquid.
- Peel and chop the garlic, and add it to the mushrooms.
- Leave to cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the mushrooms are light brown.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of butter and one of olive oil to the same pan, then peel and chop the onion and add it to the pan.
- Leave to fry on a low to medium heat until golden.
- Add the rice and stir for 30 seconds until the rice is translucent.
- Add the mushrooms back to the pan, and then add one ladleful of the broth at a time, stirring continuously until there is about one ladle left.
- The spinach can be thrown in now too, this wilts quickly, so no need to cook it for long.
- Pour in the remaining broth, stir well, season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove the pan from the heat, cover with a lid, and set aside for 5 minutes for the rice to become ever creamier.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter and olive oil, and arrange the scallops in the pan.
- Cook on both sides until golden brown and cooked through.
- Add the parmesan and seared scalloped to the risotto and serve immediately.