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The other day I didn’t have anything planned to make for dinner, so I asked Shawn to pick something up for me to cook. came home to find some beautiful scallops (look at the size of those babies!), arborio rice, pecorino romano, thyme, and peas. It really shouldn’t have surprised me that he bought ingredients for risotto – I’m pretty sure he would be blissfully happy if I made it every day! Plain risotto with scallops seemed kind of boring to me though, so I looked around the kitchen for something else to add. I came across a grapefruit and figured “why not?” I knew that scallops and grapefruit went great together, and even though I was a little nervous about how the flavor would play out in a risotto I figured it was worth a shot.

I shouldn’t have doubted myself. I had forgotten how great lemon zest is in risotto, and the grapefruit acted in the same way. The sharp citrus cuts through the creamy rice and lifts the flavor of the whole dish. I was also nervous about the fruit being to bitter, but the natural sweetness of the scallops – and the little bit of brown butter that I decided to use – provided just the right amount of balance.

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Risotto with Scallops and Grapefruit

1Tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, mined
1.5 cups arborio rice
4 oz white wine
5 cups chicken stock, warmed
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
2 Tbs grapefruit zest
1/2 pound scallops
Juice from 1/2 grapefruit
1 Tbs butter
1/2 grapefruit, supremed (cut into wedges, white parts removed)

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add rice and cook 2 minutes or until heated trhough and nearly translucent. Add the wine and cook until fully absorbed by the rice. Add the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing nearly all of the broth to absord before adding more. Continue this process until rice is soft and creamy – it should take about 20 minutes, but you may not need all of the broth. Stir in the romano and the peas. Allow the cheese to melt and the peas to warm. Stir in the grapefruit zest. Cover and keep warm.

Dry the scallops as much as you can with a paper towel. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Add half the scallops and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked through. Remove from the pan and repeat with remaining scallops. Add butter to the pan – allow it to melt, then continue cooking until it is a golden brown color. Whisk in the grapefruit juice. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half. Add the scallops back into the pan, and toss with the grapefruit glaze. Add the grapefruit wedges and cook until just warmed through.

Spoon the risotto into 4 bowls. Top with the scallops and grapefruit.

Serves 4.
Approx. 560 calories, 14 grams fat, 1.5 grams fiber, 23 grams protein