Meyer Lemon Risotto with Sea Scallops

Zesty, creamy risotto pairs perfectly with the delicate flavor of sea scallops in this elegant dish.


  • 12 large sea scallops

  • 1 tbsp duck fat, butter, or olive oil

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced

  • 1.5 cups risotto rice, such as carnaroli or arborio

  • 1 large pinch saffron

  • 1 lemon (ideally meyer), diced

  • 1-2 lemons, whole

  • 3.5-4 cups chicken or seafood stock

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

  1. Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add the butter, tilting or stirring with a spatula to cover the bottom of the pot. Add the garlic and onions and saute until softened, 3-5 minutes.

  2. Add the rice and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the grains are translucent around the edges and still slightly opaque in the center, another 3-4 minutes.

  3. Stir in saffron, adding more if you'd like a brighter yellow color, followed by the diced meyer lemon. Pour in 3.5 cups of broth and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and stir well.

  4. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on low pressure for 5 minutes.

  5. Use the steam release valve to depressurize the cooker, then open it up. If the risotto is too thick, add some of the remaining broth. If it's too watery, set to saute mode and cook, stirring, to boil off some of the liquid.

  6. Season with additional salt (the amount you'll need will depend on the saltiness of your broth), pepper, and parmesan to taste. Zest the remaining 1-2 lemons into the rice, squeeze in the juice, and stir well, adding more if you'd like it extra-lemony.

  7. Prepare 4 dishes (a shallow bowl shape is ideal). Scoop the risotto into each of the 4 plates, topping with parsley around the edges and leaving room in the center for the scallops.

  8. Pat your scallops dry. Melt 1 tsp of duck fat, butter, or olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Once it's searing hot, season the scallops lightly with salt and pepper and quickly sear on both sides until just cooked through. (Alternatively, if you have a cooking torch, you can quickly sear each side for a few seconds). Serve directly onto the risotto plates and enjoy!

Grace Kwan © 2020