Risotto with Scallops, Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

tomatoes roasted tomatoes

I haven’t tried roasting any vegetables before adding them to a risotto in the past, but the idea of another blanched asparagus melted into the rice wasn’t the kick that I was looking for to compliment my bay scallops. I figured that my scallops could maintain their subtle flavors by cooking along with the rice, but by roasting the asparagus and the tomatoes added another layer to this risotto.

asparagus asparagus asparagus

Tomatoes are a vegetable that I often avoid in risotto, the acidity doesn’t always work with its subtleties, though you will often find tomatoes in seafood risottos. I’ve had these tomatoes for too long to be able to use them in a salad and they really needed to be eaten before having to throw them away. I figured that I would roast them and throw them in the pot to see what they could add to the risotto. They added the perfect hint of acidity, that I thought I didn’t need, but was happy to have.


I generally like to use a homemade stock in my risottos, I had made a stock from the bones of my red snapper that was waiting for me in the freezer. A fish stock really brings out the flavors in a seafood risotto and will make it that much more delicate. If you don’t have a freezer full of stock filled tupperware like I do, you can easily make a stock using small whole fish (if you can find them) or you can use a vegetable stock, I wouldn’t add a chicken or a beef stock to this.

fish stock

  • the bones from the whole fish you had for dinner that night or 4 small fish, cleaned
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 2 stalks of celery, cleaned
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups of water
  • pinch of salt

Place all of the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil, let boil until the fish has fallen apart and the carrot seemed to be cooked through, strain with a sieve into another pot and set aside for risotto. If you are planning on freezing it be sure to let it cool off completely before transferring it to a plastic container and setting in the freezer.

roasted tomatoes risotto

Risotto with Scallops, Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

  • 1 cup of Carnaroli or Arborio rice (Italians measure rice by demitasse cups, 1 cup for each person and one for the pot)
  • ½ lb. of bay scallops
  • ½ bunch asparagus
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ an onion, chopped finely
  • 5 cups fish or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • a few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
  • salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°. Wash tomatoes and cut them in half, toss on a baking sheet with 1 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast the tomatoes for 5 to 10 minutes, until they have shriveled and browned a bit. Break the ends of the asparagus stalks and discard, toss with extra-virgin olive oil and roast on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes or until browned. Allow them to cool and cut them into 1 inch pieces. You could roast the two together, though the tomatoes release a lot of liquid that you don’t want your asparagus to absorb. I roasted them separately, but on the same baking sheet.

In the meantime chop the onion into fine pieces and bring the broth to a simmer. Heat a large stovetop casserole pan over medium-high heat and melt butter at the bottom of the pan. When the butter is melted add onion and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add rice and coat it in the butter, toasting it a bit. When the rice becomes opaque, after about 1 minute, add the wine to the pan, enough to cover the rice, stirring frequently. Add the scallops, allowing them to release their juices.

When the rice has absorbed the wine, add a ladleful of broth to the pan and continue stirring. Repeat, once the rice starts to absorb the broth add the asparagus and the tomatoes. Continue adding the broth as the rice absorbs it, you want it to almost dry out before adding the broth each time.

When the rice is finished it should be al dente and all of the liquid should be absorbed. Remove from heat and toss in the chopped parsley and a tab of butter. Serve immediately.


~ by italicious on March 31, 2009.

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