Bay Scallop Risotto with Prosciutto
Han and I had a conversation the other day about this Bay Scallop Risotto with Prosciutto recipe that I wanted to share with you.
It went a little heated.
The topic of our conversation was saffron vs no saffron.
Do couples argue over the most stupid stuff ever all the time? Our friendly arguments usually associate with my lack of knowledge of the American culture, system, and food, of course! I still have my first times like a baby, even though I’ve been living in the States for three years.
This time, I wanted to try saffron in my cooking…for the first time.
When Han heard that I would be trying a recipe with saffron and possibly publish it on DelishPlan, he came to me and made a strong opinion.
“Don’t put saffron in the recipe.” He says.
“Why? What’s wrong with saffron?”
“Saffron is helluva expensive. Why the heck did you buy it?? If you share a recipe with saffron, I guarantee you that nobody is going to make it. In addition, you can’t really taste it. It doesn’t make a huge difference.”
“But…” I was trying the speak while processing his words at the same time. Then, he took it to the next level.
“It’s like people buy luxury cars to just show off!”
“Wait, are you saying that people who use saffron in their dishes just want to show off how awesome they are instead of truly enjoying the aroma?”
Han pauses for 2 seconds and gives me a firm reply, “YES!”
Wow! I guess he’s trying really hard to convince me not to even mention saffron in my recipe. But I am writing a blog post about it. (Shhhh…)
I can’t find myself agree with my husband on his extreme point of views. So I went ahead and tried this Bay Scallop Risotto with Prosciutto recipe twice, with saffron and without. Chef Michael Symon suggests that we use saffron to infuse the whole dish.
As soon as the tiny little package of saffron I had was added into other ingredients, it quickly embraced the entire pot with its unique fragrance. I could see the little red strings while I was stirring. I could smell it. I kept stirring. Then, at one point, the strings became so thin that I could barely notice them anymore. It’s like they’ve done their job by being completely buried into the dish.
I would say that saffron is definitely not an essential ingredient to this recipe. You could totally save a few bucks by omitting it. But if you would like to make this risotto with saffron, I support you to give it a try, just like I did. I enjoyed both versions – the one with saffron and the one without. This risotto is absolutely a heartwarming meal with a style!
If you do get a chance to make this recipe, leave a comment and let me know how you like it, or use hashtag #StreetSmartKitchen on Instagram with a photo. I would love, love to see your creations!
So, saffron or no saffron?Print
Bay Scallop Risotto with Prosciutto
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main, Gluten Free
- Cuisine: Italian
Risotto perfectly cooked with prosciutto and bay scallops, finishing with parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese. This is a hearty gluten-free one-pot meal ready in 35 minutes.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, dice
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium garlic cloves)
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup prosciutto, diced
- 1 tablespoon saffron (optional)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 8 ounces bay scallops
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt; sauté for 30 seconds; add garlic; stir and let the onion and garlic sweat, about 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in Arborio rice and turn the heat up to high. Toast the rice in the pan for 1 minute, stirring often. This will release the starch from the rice.
- Once the rice is lightly brown, add white wine and keep stirring. Cook until the alcohol evaporates, leaving the rice a tasty flavor.
- Add prosciutto, followed by saffron (if using) and continue stirring for about 1 minute, releasing the flavor of prosciutto into the rice.
- Ladle 1 cup chicken broth into the pan, bring to a boil and turn down the heat to let it simmer. Let the broth be absorbed by the rice. Continue adding broth, one cup at a time, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add bay scallops; cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, or until the rice is perfectly tender. Add parsley and parmesan cheese; stir again. At this point, your risotto should be nicely thickened and creamy. Dish up and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Chef Michael Symon
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 459
- Sugar: 3.9g
- Sodium: 1053.1mg
- Fat: 16.2g
- Carbohydrates: 50.8g
- Protein: 22.4g
- Cholesterol: 36.1mg
Keywords: scallop risotto
Agree with #1 – you definitely need to cook the scallops separately as when you pan sear them in a bit of olive oil and butter they caramelise and are much nicer for it, especially if you use the larger king scallops. The proslciutto or pancetta is a good touch.
I really enjoyed making this dish. My first time making risotto. I didn’t not try making it without the saffron. It tasted really rich to me, and I definitely had to scale down my portion size if I make this again. Next time I make this I am going to do the risotto and pan sear whole scallops seperately.
Oh my! Pan searing whole scallops for this risotto sounds fabulous, Alex! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed this recipe and congrats on your success on the first try! Cheers!
Can’t wait to try cooking this! Before you throw rice in the pan do you slightly boil it or wash it?
Fabulous recipe! My guests and I loved it, and I will make it again soon. To cut the cost, I used about half the saffron, and it was still wonderful. My county has several Indian grocery stores, and they all sell saffron for less than half of what I would pay at a supermarket. In other words, it’s a good idea to shop around, just like you would for a luxury car!
Excellent! So happy to hear that you and your guests enjoyed this recipe. Wow, I must look around next time I go to the Asian market right next door. It never occurs to me that they might have some saffron that’s cheaper than Whole Foods. Thanks for mentioning that! Cheers ~
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I’ve never tried to make scallops at home because I’m so intimidated by them… And I’m a bit of a scallop snob, lol! This recipe seems easy enough, though! I might have to break my own rule of scallops only in local seafood restaurants and give this a go!
Oh. My. WORD. This is making me drool…..like, literally I’m wiping drool from my mouth. Holy moly, I need this in my life STAT!!!
This sounds awesome. I love scallops! I’ll admit I’ve never used saffron but now I’m curious!
This looks delicious. I am always looking for new ways to make/serve risotto and this is a fresh recipe!
Thanks, Stephanie! I hope you enjoy this one! Cheers.