Pinch of Yum Blog’s Brown Butter Scallops with Parmesan Risotto

Hey Folks!

My apologies for being a bit MIA.  This whole new house thing has been nothing short of a nightmare and cooking or baking anything has been so far off my radar that I never thought I would find my way back.  The residual stress that Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minute Meals also didn’t help.

Something about risotto was calling to me and this recipe looked a smidge simpler then my perennial favourite The Kitchn Cookbook: Risotto with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions and Parmesan Cheese.  The only challenge was the scallops, but since Cindy recently cooked up some mighty fine scallops, I figured I should, too, and did…after a few text requests for guidance from my lovely co-blogger.


I will note here, that I halved the amount of scallops for this recipe and added in a half pound of shrimp.  I was essentially hedging my bets, just in case I ruined the scallops. In the end, they turned out darn great, but I actually liked the shrimp more!

The recipe overall was nice and straight forward.  I probably found it easier than most, if only because I already had a good base knowledge on what to do for risotto.  I will say, I always add extra butter, parm and chicken broth…because well, it’s delish.


see those brown butter flecks!!!!! DROOL!

Actually speaking of delish, what I really, really, REALLY loved was the brown butter drizzle (which, I forgot in my fancy instagram pic), but omg, did it ever up the flavour in this dish. I’ve always been a fan of brown butter, but holy moly, it’s addition to this dish is out of this world.  I ended up mixing all of it into the risotto and then threw in the greens, scallops and shrimp into one glorious mix.

The only thing that I found to not be so great was the garlic greens.  I used kale because it looked much better than the super wilted spinach I found and I didn’t have time to go to another store.  The kale just…I dunno  This dish was so comforting and luxurious and I found the kale ended up a chewy, ugly addition to the dish.  It took away from the comfort aspect and I think some sautéed and wilted spinach and garlic would have been a better choice.


finished product, minus the brown butter – oops!

Without a doubt, I would definitely make this again (and again) and I could definitely see doubling the recipe to have extra leftovers (and yes I know technically risotto is best when fresh, but it isn’t horrible as leftovers, promise!).  It was relatively quick and required relatively little prep work, which is a huge plus, given how yummy this is.  I would also attempt at adding different veggies to this like asparagus, corn or mushrooms…essentially anything that would go well with garlic, carbs and parmesan. lol.

So yeah, get yourself to the grocery store, get your ingredients and cook this up – you won’t be sorry!

Recipe rating: 4.5 knives out of 5

Om, nom, nom,



Pinch of Yum’s Brown Butter Scallops with Parmesan Risotto

Serves: 3-4

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 minced clove garlic or 1 minced shallot (or both)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3-ish cups of chicken broth
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or other high smoke point oil – I used canola)
  • 1 pound jumbo scallops
    • NB I did half a pound of scallops and half a pound of shrimp
Sauteed Garlic Greens:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 4 cups spinach or kale
Brown Butter:
  • 3 tablespoons butter

For the Risotto: In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic or shallots and saute for a minute or two, until soft and fragrant. Add the arborio rice, stir to coat with butter. Add the white wine and enjoy the sizzles. Add the broth, ½ cup at a time, and simmer/stir after each addition until the rice is soft and creamy. I usually err on the side of more liquid to get a creamier texture. Add the parmesan and stir until incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste.

For the Seared Scallops: Heat oil in nonstick skillet. Pat scallops dry (VERY DRY, as dry as possible), sprinkle with salt, and add to pan. They should sizzle (if not, you need a hotter pan.) Shake gently to prevent sticking. After 2-3 minutes, flip each scallop over. They should have a pretty golden brown exterior and an opaque inside. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. Serve immediately.

For the Sautéed Spinach: Heat the oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic, stir for a minute to get the flavor going. Add the spinach or kale and stir until wilted.

For the Brown Butter: Put a few tablespoons of butter in a clean skillet over medium heat and stir it while watching it closely – when it starts to look golden and foamy, remove from heat, transfer to a heat-proof bowl to cool slightly, then drizzle over the risotto, scallops, and greens.


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