Artichoke Risotto with Seared Scallops

updated Dec 27, 2020
Valentine's Day
Artichoke Risotto with Seared Scallops

This recipe is the perfect blueprint for switching up the ingredients. Try swapping the artichokes with peas or the scallops with seared shrimp.


Prep5 minutes

Cook35 minutes

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Finished sea scallops sit on white plates on wooden table with candles and drink glasses around it
Credit: Photo: Brittany Connerly

I love to make risotto this time of year, and my new favorite way to do it comes from Naomi Pomeroy’s Taste & Technique cookbook. Prior to reading Naomi’s book, I used to make risotto with warmed broth or stock. Now I’ve been converted to using lightly salted water, which gives the risotto a cleaner taste — especially if you’re starting with sautéed vegetables as the base like we are here.

This recipe is the perfect blueprint for making whatever type of risotto you crave. Try peas instead of artichokes, or seared shrimp instead of scallops. It’s the perfect fancy-feeling meal for a cozy date night at home.

Credit: Photo: Brittany Connerly

Artichoke Risotto with Seared Scallops

This recipe is the perfect blueprint for switching up the ingredients. Try swapping the artichokes with peas or the scallops with seared shrimp.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes

Serves 2

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    small shallot

  • 1

    small fennel bulb

  • 1

    small lemon

  • 2 tablespoons

    grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

  • 1 cup

    marinated artichoke hearts

  • 1 tablespoon

    minced fresh chives

  • 6 cups


  • 1 tablespoon

    plus 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more for seasoning

  • 1/2 cup

    carnaroli or arborio rice

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup

    Pernod or dry white wine

  • 1 tablespoon

    mascarpone cheese

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    ground white pepper

  • 4

    large scallops (preferably U10 size)

  • 2 teaspoons

    olive oil


Make the risotto:

  1. Dice 1 small shallot. Remove the fronds from 1 small fennel bulb and finely chop until you have 1 teaspoon. Dice 1/2 the fennel bulb (save the remaining for another use). Finely grate the zest of 1 small lemon until you have 1/2 teaspoon (save the remaining for another use), and finely grate until you have 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (grate more for serving if desired). Drain and coarsely chop 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts. Finely chop until you have 1 tablespoon fresh chives.

  2. Bring 6 cups water and 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a 4-quart braiser or small Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup carnaroli rice and stir until toasted smelling, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shallot and diced fennel and cook until translucent, about 1 minute. Carefully pour in 1/4 cup Pernod or dry white wine and stir until absorbed.

  3. Add 1/2 cup of the warm salted water. Cook, stirring constantly, until all of the liquid is almost absorbed. Repeat adding more of the water 1/2 cup at a time and cooking until almost absorbed before adding more, until the rice is almost tender, the starches release, and the grains look plump, 20 to 25 minutes total.

  4. Add the artichoke hearts and 1/2 cup of the salted water. Cook, stirring constantly, until the rice starts to have a creamy consistency and is tender to the bite. Stir in the fennel fronds, lemon zest, Parmesan, chives, 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese, and 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper. Taste and season with kosher salt as needed. Cover and keep warm while you cook the scallops.

Make the scallops:

  1. Remove the side muscle from 4 large scallops if needed. Rinse and pat dry. Season with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Heat a medium heavy-duty skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat until very hot. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the scallops and press down firmly with a spatula to ensure even browning. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the scallops and cook until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more.

  2. Serve the scallops on top of the risotto, garnished with more Parmesan cheese if desired. If the risotto has thickened up, stir in 2 tablespoons of the salted warm water to loosen.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.