Scallop Risotto with Lemon Basil Cream

It’s been a while and material is amassed on my hand. It is work, work, work these days. I should however make time for this recipe as I really love the taste.

It started from being cooped up and sick lying down watching telly some years ago. There was a silly program about three different ice cream makers making ice cream (American, German, and Italian).

Kids where the judges and guess what, the one with most chocolate and sugar won. Poor Italian ice cream maker had made basil flavour and all from fresh ingredients.

That ice cream I wanted to have.

First, about a year later I made gnocchi with lemon basil for the pasta course of a menu. The result was smashing, and yet I did not repeat that for years.

A while ago while being in Lausanne I came across a similar dish to what I am presenting here. Result was not really good,  but it reminded me of my own dish, so I made a risotto.




  • 50 gm of risotto riceIMG_1240
  • 3 scallops
  • Basil
  • Fresh lemon
  • Zest of lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 2 shallots or one small white onion, chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • Butter 50 ml.
  • White wine
  • Double cream
  • Black sesame
  • 1 teaspoon of white sugar.

How To Make It? 

Lemon Basil Cream

  • Fry half of the shallot in half of the butter on medium temperature for three minutes until soft but with absolutely no change of colour.
  • Add the garlic and fry them together for another two minutes.
  • Add 100 ml of white wine, reduce the heat and cover for 10 minutes.
  • Add 50 ml of cream, remove the cover and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice (10-20 ml; feel free to adjust to your taste), and sugar and let it simmer for another 5 minutes and taste so it tastes sweet and sour, then turn off the heat. Basically you would want to reduce the cream to 50 ml.
  • Crush 5-7 leaves of basil in a mortar until still rough but properly crushed to release its taste.
  • Add the basil to the still warm cream and let it rest for an hour. Do not boil the basil as it will loose its aroma and flavour.
  • Taste the cream so that it has lemon basil taste.
  • Pass the cream through a fine sieve so you get the taste but not the colour and sediment.


  • Fry rest of the shallot in olive oil over medium heat for about three minutes in a flat and shallow iron skillet, then add in the rice and continue frying for 5 minutes. This will make the rice keep its texture while cooking.
  • Stir in 50 ml of white wine and 50 ml of boiling water.
  • Let the rice simmer on medium temperature for 10 minutes until almost dry, then add the cream and simmer for another 10 minutes until the rice is moist but not watery. Taste the rice to be cooked, it should be neither hard nor too soft. It must keep its shape, while not crunchy.


  • Pan-fry the scallops on medium-high temperature in remaining butter. Add some butter if needed.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice and add some sea salt shortly before it is cooked. It should take no more than total of 3 minutes of cooking time, 1.5 minutes on each side.


  • Roast the sesame on medium-high temperature in a frying pan (do not use oil, just roast). It should take about 2 minutes max. You should smell the aroma, but should not burn it. Taste one of the seeds here and there to be sure. (Well, if you get roasted sesame, then you do not need to follow this step).
  • Cut some basil roughly.
  • Zest half a lemon.

Deploy and Enjoy!



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