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What Is Scallop Risotto?

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  • Written By: Emily Espinoza
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2016
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Scallop risotto is an Italian dish that consists of basic risotto combined with cooked scallops. The risotto itself is an important staple in Italian cooking that can be made in various ways but has a few essential ingredients. It is combined with many different things or eaten by itself, and this version calls for it to be served with scallops. How the scallops are cooked depends largely on the cook who is preparing the dish and the recipe that is being followed. This dish is often served with ingredients that are cooked along with the scallops to add different flavors and textures.

The preparation of scallop risotto begins with the risotto itself, which is a rice dish that can be made with several different types of rice. Many Italian chefs, however, insist on using Arborio or Carnaroli rice, as they are thought to be the best for risotto specifically. Broth, whether chicken, beef, vegetable, or even fish, depending on the desired taste, is another essential part of the risotto preparation. The last essential ingredient is cheese, which can be simple Parmesan or the fancier Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Other possible additions to the risotto include onions, butter, and white wine.

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Naturally, scallops are the other part of a scallop risotto dish. There are several ways to cook scallops and the method used depends on the style and taste of the person cooking it. The scallops can be pan seared, grilled, or even baked, and any number of ingredients, including butter, garlic, or shallots can be used to add flavor. Each chef has his or her own way of cooking and seasoning scallops, and each preparation will reflect the style of that particular person.

Scallop risotto must contain scallops and risotto, but beyond that, the recipe is open for the addition of any number of other ingredients. Sometimes vegetables like peas, asparagus, or celery are added for flavor as well as to create a crunchier texture. Other meats, such as shrimp or sausage, can be included to give more dimension to the savory flavor of the scallops and to add heartiness to the dish as a whole. The flavor of scallop risotto can be individualized by adding ingredients like jalapenos, bell peppers, or Asiago cheese all of which have a strong flavor on their own. Different garnishes also add an individual flair to the meal, such a dash of champagne around the edge of the plate.

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