Scallops and beets are two of my grandmothers favorite foods. While staying at her house the other night, I decided to come up with a recipe that used both of these ingredients. The beet risotto turned out wonderfully and could be served with so many other dishes, though here, it really works well with the mushrooms and rosemary. Though I didn't do this the other night, serving this dish with a lemon wedge to cut the richness is something I will definitely try next time. —Matt Kallay
medium sized beets
extra virgin olive oil
homemade vegetable stock (divided)
grated Parmigaino Reggiano (plus more for serving)
Peel and quarter the beets then place them on a roasting pan lined with foil. Drizzle olive oil over them and generously salt. Roast in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
To make the risotto, finely chop the garlic and add it to a medium sauce pan, along with the oil and butter. Cook over low heat until the butter has melted and the garlic is fragrant. Add the rice to the oil and butter, then pour in the first cup of stock.
Cook over medium heat until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Slowly add in the second cup of stock while stirring. Lower the heat to medium low and cook until the liquid has been absorbed.
While the rice is cooking, take the beets out of the oven once they have finished roasting and transfer them to a blender or food processor along with the remaining vegetable stock and the heavy cream. Blend until they are very smooth. Add the cheese and blend again. Add more cream if the mixture is too thick. Salt and pepper to taste.
Once most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, gradually fold in the beet mixture. At this point, taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Mushrooms and Scallops
To cook the mushrooms, remove the stalks and slice the caps to about 1/2 inch slices.
Add the butter to a large pan and melt over medium low heat. Once the butter has melted add the mushrooms and rosemary to the pan and toss so that they are well coated in the butter.
Continue to cook until the mushrooms have softened. Salt and pepper to taste.
To prepare the scallops, generously salt and pepper both sides.
To a large pan, add enough oil to coat at about a 1/8 inch depth. Heat the oil over medium heat until hot, but not smoking.
Carefully lay the scallops in the pan, being cautious of the hot oil. Cook, without moving, until a golden crust develops, about 5 minutes (use a spatula to check, but be careful not to slide them too much in the pan). Repeat on the other side.
Divide risotto evenly between 4 plates.
Top with mushrooms, reserving the melted butter in the pan.
Place 2 scallops in the center of the dish and spoon the rosemary butter sauce over them.
Garnish with shredded parmigaino reggiano and a whole rosemary sprig