SAFFRON & PRESERVED LEMON RISOTTO with ras el hanout scallops

SAFFRON & PRESERVED LEMON RISOTTO with ras el hanout scallops
August 10, 2020 Sarah


Executive Head Chef,

Corinthia Palace Hotel, Malta,





350g Seggiano Organic Carnaroli Rice

60g Arabica London Preserved Lemon [skin only, chopped, some preserving liquid]

Few strands of Brindisa Saffron

2 shallots, finely diced

35ml olive oil

6g fresh thyme, picked leaves

100ml White wine

1Lt vegetable stock

50ml fresh cream

45g butter [to finish the risotto]

130g Bagoss cheese, grated

12 fresh scallops

20g Arabica London Ras el Hanout

45ml vegetable oil

50g butter [to baste the scallops]

½ Lemon, to squeeze over the scallops

Few young kale leaves, blanched and refreshed in iced water

Salt & pepper



To make the risotto, measure one litre of stock and place in a pot over a low heat. In another large, heavy-based pan, heat the oil and add the diced shallot and thyme. Fry gently for around 3 minutes, stirring often so that it all softens without browning.

Add the rice, stirring to coat the grains in oil, and gently fry until translucent. Add the wine [if desired] and allow to cook, stirring constantly until the wine has been absorbed by the rice.

Add one ladleful of the hot stock to the rice, stirring constantly until absorbed completely. Add a second ladleful of stock, followed by the chopped preserved lemon, season with salt and some liquid from the preserved lemons.



Keep adding the stock by the ladleful, stirring until the liquid has been absorbed before adding another. Then when you add the last ladleful, keep cooking until the rice is tender but with a slight bite. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

Turn the heat off and stir in the cream and butter, cover and allow to rest while you cook the scallops.



In a non-stick pan heat the oil, dust the scallops with the spices and place presentation side down. Allow to colour before turning over. When golden turn and add the butter baste with the foaming butter and cook for a minute. Remove from the pan onto absorbent kitchen paper, season and dress with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Just before serving, stir in the grated Bagoss cheese in the risotto and check seasoning, adjust if necessary.

Risotto should have a creamy consistency, if it feels too firm, loosen with some vegetable stock.

Plate the risotto and top with the scallops and the kale leaves dressed in some olive oil.