Smoked Celeriac Risotto with Scallops

The inspiration for this risotto came from our wonderful dinner at De Librije, where the sea scallops with veal marrow, black garlic and a smoky jus of roasted celeriac was one of our favorite dishes. This is by no means my version of the same dish, I mainly used the idea of pairing scallops with smoky celeriac. At De Librije the dish was paired with a white burgundy from Cotes-de-Nuits, and I also happened to have one bottle of a white Cotes-de-Nuits 2006 left so we drank that with it (and I also used one glass for the risotto).

Ingredients

For 2 servings

130 grams (2/3 cup) risotto rice such as arborio

500 ml (2 cups) home-made fish stock or home-made vegetable stock

200 grams (7 oz) fresh sea scallops (not frozen)

300 grams (0.67 lbs) celeriac/celery root

1 glass (100 ml) of dry white wine

1 shallot or small onion, chopped

1 Tbsp chopped celery leaves (or flatleaf parsley)

salt and freshly ground white pepper

pinch of saffron

3 Tbsp butter

freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preparation

Peel the celeriac and cut it into chunks. Smoke in a hot smoker for 45 minutes or until tender.

Make smoky celeriac puree in a blender.

Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a wide pan and sauté the onion or shallot until translucent.

Add the rice and toast for a few minutes. Meanwhile, bring the stock to a simmer.

Add the wine and let it evaporate, stirring over medium heat.

Add a ladle of hot stock.

Add the smoky celeriac puree and stir to mix.

Keep adding stock a ladle at the time as soon as the rice starts to become dry and keep stirring until the rice has absorbed all the stock and is cooked al dente, about 16-18 minutes.

About halfway, mix a pinch of saffron in a ladle of hot stock and add it to the rice.

Turn off the heat when the risotto is cooked.

Add the remaining Tbsp butter in small pieces as well as the chopped celery or parsley and a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Stir to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground white pepper.

Cut each scallop into two slices and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Sauté the scallops in olive oil in a very hot non-stick skillet on both sides until they are golden, about 1 minute per side, and be careful not to overcook them. Season with salt at the end of the cooking.

Serve the risotto on warm plates, topped with the scallops.

Wine pairing

Pairs excellently with a white burgundy or another elegant oaked chardonnay with a nice bit of acidity. The wine should be a bit ‘smoky’ from the oak to go well with the smoked celeriac.

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17 thoughts on “Smoked Celeriac Risotto with Scallops

    1. It is quite easy to make one if you have an old pot and some kind of grill that fits in it somewhere. I’m sure there must be descriptions of how to make your own smoker all over the internet. I can highly recommend it, since hot-smoking gives a great effect for a small effort.

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  1. Stefan, you have excelled yourself. I am lying on the couch having just enjoyed what I classify as a culinary triumph (fake smoked haddock and fake tagliateli, more about that later) and I read this. The thought of smoked celeriac risotto is hunger making enough. Pairing that with salty, fresh scallops is inspired. The wine choice is spot on.
    Brilliant,
    Conor

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        1. The time you take to think about your posts is definitely worth it, given the quality! I usually blog about everything within a few days because it is enough hassle to take photos while cooking as it is — wouldn’t want to take notes as well. So I do everything off the top of my head (although the photos do help of course). The number of posts is also quite high since I want to blog about every noteworthy gourmet experience I have.

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          1. Anything more than once a week is a struggle for me. I have a few ‘bankers’ to see me through a dry spell but I live in fear of having nothing to show and nothing to say on any given week.

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  2. I love the idea of the pairing and will have to give it a go. I would have to cook the scallops sous vide – my OH insists on it, and if you haven’t tried it, you should, as the texture it gives (with a quick sear afterwards) is amazing.

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    1. I tried sous-vide scallops over a year ago and didn’t notice anything special compared to regular seared scallops. Perhaps I should try again. What time&temp do you use and what quality of scallops (fresh in the shell, fresh out of the shell, or frozen)?

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      1. Fresh scallops, though out of the shell but from a reasonably well reputed fishmonger. I used 50.5 for about 25 minutes with just a little salt, pepper and some light olive oil in the bag. Patted dry afterwards for a quick sear. I used ziploc bags and the archimedes principle due to the liquid in the bag (and my lack of funds for a chamber vacuum), and to keep the shape of the scallops.

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        1. Using a ziploc bag to keep the shape is a good idea. When I tried scallops the Sousvide Supreme ziploc bags were not yet available.

          Most of the scallops out of the shell have been taken out of the shell a few days before (2-3 if your fishmonger is indeed reputable) and are shipped in 1 kg / 2.2 lbs buckets.

          Guess I should try scallops sous-vide again!

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