Sea Scallops with Lemon Risotto & Buttery Pan~Seared Artichokes


Pan~Seared Sea Scallops  |  Lemon Risotto  |  Buttery Pan~Seared Artichokes

Intro Collage

 Ode to the Artichoke

The soft~hearted

artichoke put on its warrior suit

and, straight-backed, built

a little dome.


its scales,

it was



 Right next to it

crazed vegetables


and twisted themselves into

creepers, cattails,

or histrionic bulbs.

Beneath the earth

slumbered red~whiskered


the earth

sucked dry the vines

that draw wine from the soil,


spent their time

trying on skirts,

and oregano labored

to fill the world with perfume,

and all the while sweet


in their corner of the garden

dressed for war,

like shiny


and just as proud.


One day

they marched

through the market,

side by side

in wicker baskets,

to make their dream come true:

to be soldiers.

All lined up,

they were never more warlike

than that day at the fair.

The men

in white shirts

who stood amidst the vegetables,

they were

the artichokes’


Tight formation,

the drill sergeant’s screams,


of a falling crate.




along comes


with a basket on her arm.

She picks up

an artichoke


she looks it over,

she holds it

up to the light as if it were an egg.

She buys it

and sticks it

in her bag

along with a pair of shoes,

a cabbage and a


of vinegar;


in the kitchen,

she drops it in the pot.

This is how

the career

of the armored vegetable

we call an artichoke

comes to a peaceful end.

For the final act

we reveal

its delicious flavor,

plucking it leaf by leaf,

and devour

the peaceable dough

that lies at its green heart.


Text  ~ Odes  To Common Things, by Pablo Neruda {translated by Ken Krabbenhoft} 

Buttery Pan~Seared Artichokes
  1. 1 teaspoon of salt
  2. 4 whole artichokes
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  5. 1 lemon, washed, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
  1. To a medium pot, add three inches of water and season the water with the salt. Turn the heat to medium high until the water reaches a light simmer. Meanwhile, trim the artichokes. To do so, start by trimming the ends of the stem and cutting off the top of the artichoke. Grab a pair of scissors and trim each of the petals, discarding the pointy tops. Slice the artichoke in half and using a spoon {a serrated grapefruit spoon works well here}, scoop out the furry center. Transfer the artichoke halves to the simmering water, cut side down and allow to cook for 20 minutes, until the stems are tender when poked with a fork. Carefully remove the artichokes to a colander to drain completely.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the butter. When the butter has browned, add the sliced lemon and artichokes, cut side down. Cook for about 5 minutes, until there’s a visible light-sear on the artichokes as well as the lemon slices. Remove and serve immediately.
Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
Note:  these artichokes turn out so incredibly tender and buttery!  If you like to enjoy your artichokes with some type of dip check out this Ponzu Aioli.  We skipped the dip route as our artichokes were being served alongside a rich, creamy risotto for this dinner but, for an appetizer that aioli sounds wonderful! 

As for the Scallops & Lemon Risotto…


An incredibly smooth, creamy & rich {thanks to the addition of some mascarpone cheese} risotto that avoids the realm of “heavy” due to the infusion of fresh, bright lemon juice and zest.  The perfect bed for tender sea scallops which have been seared in golden butter…

Pan~Seared Sea Scallops & Lemon Risotto
Serves 5
  1. 6 cups chicken stock {preferably homemade}
  2. 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  3. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  4. 1 medium yellow onion, peeled & finely chopped
  5. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 1 garlic clove, peeled & minced
  7. 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  8. 1/2 cup white vermouth
  9. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  10. 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  11. 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  12. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  13. 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves {stems discarded} finely chopped
  14. 10 fresh sea scallops, washed and thoroughly dried
  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, cover and keep hot. In another large, deep saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering and then add 2 tablespoons of the butter and melt. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly until glossy and the rice is well coated with the oil/butter mixture {a white dot should appear in each of the rice kernels as the glutinous covering becomes transparent}, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the vermouth to the rice and simmer over moderate heat until almost absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, and cook, stirring constantly between additions, until most of the stock has been absorbed before adding more. The rice is done when it's tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes total. Stir in the 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, the mascarpone, the lemon zest and juice, and the chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and cover the saucepan, set aside and keep warm.
  3. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the remaining olive oil and butter over medium~high heat until the butter is completely melted and begins to turn golden in color. Add the scallops to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd them and cook until a nice sear develops on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip each scallop and cook the same way until each is well seared on the other side, about another 3 minutes.
  4. Spoon the risotto onto individual serving plates and top with 2 scallops per plate. Serve immediately.
  1. Making sure the scallops are thoroughly dry before cooking will help them achieve a good, golden~brown sear. After rinsing the scallops in a colander, I like to use a paper towel to pat each dry and then I spread the scallops out on a plate and put them in the refrigerator to air dry in the cold until approximately 20 minutes before I want to cook them, removing them from the refrigerator at this time to come to room temperature prior to cooking.
Adapted from Food & Wine
Adapted from Food & Wine

K Medium



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