Parmesan, Thyme & Lemon Risotto with Seared Scallops

With every great relationship comes hard work, dedication, compassion, and seasoning. Just kidding on that last part. I think I got confused with my experience loving on this risotto I made yesterday. But really, thinking about Valentine’s Day and putting this recipe together reminded me a lot of the love, time and effort we put into relationships.


Just as we take time to carefully nurture and grow our relationships, it’s the same concept with risotto and the million of stirs and pours of broth we put together to create something beautiful and meaningful, am I right? You all probably think I’m crazy, but these thoughts popped into my head as I stood at my stove for what seemed like 7.5 years yesterday.



Yes, risotto is a true labor of love and takes a lot of patience, but being able to enjoy creamy bites infused with wine, Parmesan and lemon make all it worth it. And with time (or thyme – ha!), it gets better and better. And creamier and creamier, and before you know it, you’ve made yourself the fanciest of dishes. It can be an intimidating one to make, but really, with patience and care, you can make this decadent dish at home pretty easily.


I’m posting this recipe this week because for me, this is the only meal–scratch that–the only thing I need this Valentine’s Day. Box of chocolates? Blah. Creamy risotto trumps any sweet or bouquet of flowers. And isn’t it so romantic cooking at home? Just picture yourself stirring and stirring and stirring over the stove while you’re significant other bums out on the couch. Haha! But really, this would be a fun one to make together on Valentine’s Day.


If you end up making it, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats!

Parmesan, Thyme & Lemon Risotto with Seared Scallops

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 shallots, very thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of arborio rice
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 cups of white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice (juice of about two lemons)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded parmesan

Seared Scallops

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 12 medium sized scallops


Set a deep, large frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the shallots and cook for two to three minutes until they are softened. Next add the rice and continuously stir for an additional two minutes.

Add the salt and wine and increase the heat to medium-high. Continue stirring until most of the wine is absorbed. After most of it is absorbed, add the broth a 1/2 cup at a time, continuously stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup at a time until you’ve used the full five cups.

When the broth is absorbed, remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, thyme and parmesan and stir until combined.

To make the scallops, pat them with a paper towel to get some of the moisture out and sprinkle each with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and butter. Let the oil and butter cook for a minute or two and when the butter starts to sizzle, add the scallops seasoned-side down and cook for two minutes without touching them. While they are cooking, season the other sides with a little pinch of salt and pepper. Flip and cook for an additional minute.

Serve the risotto and scallops together. Enjoy!




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