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Gin and Tonic Scallop Risotto

Gin and tonic has been my drink of choice recently, so much so that I have been curious about highlighting the flavors in a meal. I realized it would be a great pairing with scallops because the sweet and slightly briny flavor in the scallops lends itself to the fresh lime and cucumber flavors I like in a good G+T. I cooked some risotto in gin and tonic, and finished it with mint, cucumber and lime, then topped it with the perfectly seared scallops.

I’m working with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) on this recipe to support their Keep It Wild campaign celebrating 20 years of wild, traceable, sustainable seafood. The MSC works to make sure that our oceans stay healthy for wild seafood far into the future!
When you are at the store, you can look for the blue fish label, an easy way to identify seafood products that have met the organizations strict standard for sustainability. To start the risotto, cook some onion in olive oil for about 10 minutes, then add the rice and cook another 5. Next stir in the gin. When working with frozen scallops, it is important to let them dry fully and cook them in a really hot pan in order to get the sear. When the risotto is finished, remove from heat and stir in some yogurt and parmesan. Top the risotto with cucumber, mint, and lime wedges, and serve with a gin and tonic! The herbs and spices in the gin really came through in the final dish, but in just a subtle enough way that they were there, but not overpowering. The cucumber, mint, and lime made this risotto feel lighter and almost refreshing instead of heavy. And because the MSC-certified seafood is traceable from ocean to plate, you can feel good about your meal and the fact that you are supporting fishing communities not only now, but in the future!

Gin and Tonic Scallop Risotto

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 small Onion diced
  • 1.5 cups Risotto
  • 1/2 cup Gin
  • 1 cup tonic
  • 1 quart Veggie Stock
  • 1 bunch Asparagus chopped
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parm
  • 2 Limes
  • 1 small Cucumber sliced
  • 20 MSC-certified scallops

Instructions

  1. Cook the onion in some oil for about 10 minutes. Add the rice and cook another 5 minutes to lightly toast. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the gin and stir to combine, scraping the pan if necessary to get any browned bits off the bottom. Add the tonic and continue to stir.
  3. Add about 1 cup of the veggie stock and stir well, continuing to gradually add stock, stir, and cook as needed for about a half hour, until the rice is tender. If you run out of stock during this process, but the rice is still undercooked, continue with water. Add the asparagus when you think there is just under 10 minutes left in this process.
  4. Remove from heat and add the yogurt and parm. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Meanwhile, sear the scallops in a hot pan to brown on both sides, about a minute or two on each side.
  6. Serve the risotto and top with the scallops. Add lime wedges, sliced cucumber, and mint.