This show-stopping dish is just as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the palate. The vivid green “risotto” is grain free thanks to the use of buckwheat. Buckwheat is actually a seed and a very good source of plant-based protein.
You can easily make this recipe vegan by substituting scallops for king oyster mushrooms cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) thick rounds.
2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil, divided
2 small shallots, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups (500 mL) raw buckwheat groats, well rinsed
4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock
3 cups (750 mL) frozen green peas, thawed
4 cups (1 L) greens, such as spinach, kale, or Swiss chard
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh mint leaves
1/2 tsp (2 mL) finely grated lemon zest
1 cup (250 mL) white wine or water
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, divided
12 large scallops
3 Tbsp (45 mL) maple syrup, divided
1 Tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar
Pea shoots, for garnish
In large saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring often, until shallots have softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in buckwheat and toast it, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add stock and let mixture come to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat, stirring often, until buckwheat is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in blender combine peas, greens, mint, lemon zest, and wine or water until a smooth purée forms.
Once buckwheat is cooked, stir in pea mixture and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Set aside risotto and keep warm.
Thoroughly pat scallops dry with paper towel. Place in small bowl and toss with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup and remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Remove half of the scallops from syrup, allowing excess to drip off, before searing in pan until browned on both top and bottom and just cooked through, about 1 minute total. Transfer to plate and sear remaining scallops in the same manner. Once scallops have all been seared, pour into hot frying pan the syrup that scallops marinated in, along with remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Cook, stirring, until bubbly and reduced to about 2 Tbsp (30 mL), about 4 minutes.
Divide buckwheat risotto among 4 serving plates before topping each portion with 3 scallops. Drizzle some maple reduction over scallops and garnish with pea shoots if desired. Enjoy while warm.