Seafood Saffron Risotto with Garlic Kale

Last night, my husband and I celebrated two major milestones: ten years since our first date and four years since our wedding day! It’s so crazy to think about all this time that has flown by since we first met. We sifted through old photos and videos last night ooh-ing and aah-ing over what BABIES we used to be! I feel like we were completely different people back then. Not necessarily in a good or bad way, just different. Age and parenthood has definitely changed us! 🙂

While we’re officially celebrating next week with a fancy schmancy tasting menu at Smyth, I decided to ring in our special occasion with a gourmet homemade meal. My blog recipes are usually all about quick & easy meals for people on the go, but sometimes it’s nice to slooow things down and get a little fancier. I’ve never cooked with scallops before and thought it would be fun to make a seafood risotto. I’ve made this amazing Mushroom Risotto from A Family Feast a million times (it’s delicious), but thought I’d switch things up a little bit and add more spice and flavor. So here is my gourmet anniversary concoction, a mish-mash of different recipes: a seafood saffron risotto with garlic kale. A pinch of saffron and a tiny bit of turmeric make all the difference for this delicious feast! Hope you try it for your next date night ❤

Ingredients (serves 2-3) 

The Rice

1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
3-4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or parmesan
A pinch of saffron
A pinch of turmeric
Salt and pepper, to taste (go easy on the salt)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

The Seafood

2 cloves of garlic, minced
18-20 medium-sized shrimp
1/2 pound bay scallops
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Garlic Kale

1 clove of garlic, minced
100 g baby kale
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Garnish

Lemon juice
Fresh basil
More cheese!

Recipe

The Rice: Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and fry for five minutes or so. Add the arborio rice and stir for an additional five minutes, or until the rice begins to turn golden. Stir in the white wine, a pinch of saffron, and a pinch of turmeric. Once the liquid begins to boil and the rice has absorbed the wine, stir in half a cup of chicken broth and stir constantly. Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, add another half cup of broth. Continue to stir. Keep adding a little more broth (half cup at a time) and constantly stirring for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice has softened. If you like your risotto creamy, then add more broth. Once the rice is fully cooked but there’s still some liquid left, stir in the cheese, a little bit of salt and pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

The Seafood: Melt the butter on a frying pan on high heat. Once the butter is sizzling, add the minced garlic until they begin to turn golden. Add the lightly-salted shrimp and fry on each side for a few minutes until fully cooked. They should be nice and brown and coated with garlic. Add to the risotto. In the same pan, add some olive oil on high heat. Add the lightly-salted bay scallops (note that they should be washed and COMPLETELY dry before frying) and fry on each side for a minute or two. They should be a little golden on the outside. Add the scallops along with any remaining olive oil into the risotto mixture and stir together.

The Kale: Heat the olive oil on a frying pain on medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic until they begin to turn golden. Add the kale and stir just for a few minutes until wilted, but not soggy.

And you’re done! A labor of love, but such a lovely, impressive, and delicious meal. Plate your risotto with a generous helping of the kale and garnish with fresh basil, lemon juice, and as much cheese as you desire.

Just for fun – my hubby & I from our early dating years!