Certain dishes are at their best when made with fresh ingredients and this is one of them. I recommend using fresh rather than frozen scallops, and these are nearly always available in Australia. Ideally, you also need a couple of fresh herbs like chives and chervil; if unavailable, just use flat-leaf parsley. You must use a delicate stock for this dish.
24 fresh scallops
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 tablespoons zucchini, diced
200g Italian risotto rice
50ml dry white wine
2 litres fish stock, simmering
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chervil, chopped, (optional)
a few drops lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1. Chop 8 of the scallops and keep the remaining 16 whole to add near the end of the cooking time. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-based pan and cook the onions and garlic until soft. Add the chopped scallops, zucchini and rice. Stir well, then add the wine. Toast the rice by frying it until it has absorbed all the wine and fat.
2. After a minute or so, begin to add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly between addition until the stock is absorbed. Cook for 15–20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked, but each grain is still slightly firm in the centre. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Towards the end of the cooking time, add the whole scallops. Cook for a few minutes, then stir in the fresh herbs and the lemon juice.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Cover for few moments, then serve.
Recipe from Modern Italian Food by Stefano de Pieri.