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Seared Sea Scallops with Black Seafood Risotto and Asparagus-Arugula Purée

Love is in the air this February! It’s a great time to reconnect with your loved ones this Valentine’s day by cooking together and sharing a meal. Healthy food, laughter and love are healthy for the soul! This delicious recipe comes from IBJI’s Douglas Solway, DPM, try it yourself!

Ingredients for Two Servings

  • 6 large fresh sea scallops (Frozen scallops are fine, defrost in the fridge)
  • 2 cups of baby arugula (Before cooking)
  • 8 spears of raw asparagus
  • 2 cups of black rice (You can substitute with Arborio white rice)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 6-8 cups of low sodium seafood stock
  • 1 cup of white brut sparkling wine
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice (Fresh squeezed)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small jar roasted red peppers
  • Balsamic vinegar glaze
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Get a one quart stock pot and heat up the Seafood Stock until just boiling then leave on medium heat. Take shallots and garlic and chop finely. Take a medium sauce pan and place it on medium heat. Add one tablespoon of butter and olive oil to the pan. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add the rice. Stir around a couple of times to mix in the garlic and shallots. Pour in the white wine and stir rice until almost all the liquid is evaporated. Start to add one ladle of seafood stock at a time and stir rice until almost evaporated. (Side note: Black rice takes longer to cook than Arborio white rice. Thus you may want to substitute white rice for black rice or brown rice.) Continue adding one ladle of stock at a time and stir rice continuously until all the stock is gone and rice is soft and creamy in consistency. Taste the risotto, add salt and peeper to taste. Sometimes the stock will add enough salt by evaporation. Cover with lid and take off heat and set aside.

Asparagus-Arugula Purée:

Get a large bowl and fill it with half ice cubes and half water to create an ice water bath. Now, create a boiling water bath by adding water to a medium pot and bringing it to a boil. Add arugula to boiling water and keep in water until it boils again, then quickly remove arugula and place it in the ice water bath. Take spears of asparagus and remove the tough end. Cut stalks in even one inch pieces, do not cut into tips of asparagus. Place in boiling water bath for 3 minutes until they turn bright green. Remove from boiling water bath and place in ice water bath. Remove arugula and asparagus from ice water bath and separate the asparagus tips and place aside. Take arugula and asparagus pieces and blot dry with paper towel. Add both to food processor along with 2 tbsp. of olive oil, one tbsp. of lemon juice, and half of the lemon zest. Pulse processor until you get a smooth pesto-like consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Red Pepper-Asparagus Garnish:

Cut the pepper in strips and small squares. Take a small sauté pan and place a small amount of butter and olive oil and sauté peppers and asparagus tips for two-three minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. (If you are making this for your loved one you can purchase food cutters in the shape of hearts at any hobby/craft store.) You can substitute the red peppers with red caviar, which adds a briney salty flavor.


Prior to cooking the scallops, take serving plates and place in the oven on 150 degrees to warm them. Take scallops and pat them dry on a paper towel. Place a small sauté pan on medium heat and add remaining butter to the pan with a splash of olive oil. Add scallops one at a time to pan making sure they do not stick. Leave on one side for about 3 minutes and then flip to the other side. Add small amount of lemon juice in the pan and cover with the lid, take off the flame and let sit.


Take warmed plates out of the oven with baking gloves. Add one cup of risotto to the center of the plate in a slight mound. Take purée and place it in a small ziplock sandwich bag about 1/2 a cup. Cut a small opening in one of the corners of the bag. Squeeze gently on the zip-lock bag piping the puree around your rice. Take the back of a spoon and gently smooth down the puree. Take your scallops from the covered pan and place the browned side up in a triangle. Add garnish to the risotto as desired. Finally, take a small amount of balsamic glaze and drizzle it over the scallops and sprinkle entire plate with some lemon zest.

Serve immediately. Bon Appétit!

*Majority of fats are from healthy fats. Nutrition facts below, calculated by VeryWell.

Nutrition facts are calculated by VeryWell.