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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Sarmiento

Pan-seared sea scallops & shrimps with asparagus-saffron risotto and lemon-olive oil sorbet

Updated: Mar 18, 2022

Lingering in the bounty of Mediterranean cuisine just a little longer.

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Learning about the Mediterranean diet from previous blog postings, I quickly discovered that one can truly remain in this world of healthy yet highly delectable dishes....indeed, why not stay there a little longer?

(Photo: Richard Pasquarella)

I have always found culinary inspiration by observing others and then readapting their recipes to make them my own. These new main entree dishes were inspired by one of my sisters and by a dear friend of mine, both amazing cooks in their own right.

The sorbet idea came as a wonderful suggestion from my friends at Cut 1886 California Extra Virgin Olive Oil Co.

Original recipe:

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

In keeping faithful to the Mediterranean diet, some familiar elements return as the anchor ingredients for many of these dishes: garlic, lemons and olive oil.

(Photo: Caroline Attwood)

Asparagus (which has many vitamins and antioxidants) becomes the hidden gem in the risotto (in addition to the saffron), while sea scallops (rich in Omega-3 and promotes cardiovascular health) add flavor and texture to the giant shrimps in the pan-seared main dish.

(Photo: Stephanie Studer)

Menu: Pan-seared sea scallops & shrimps with asparagus-saffron risotto and lemon-olive oil sorbet

Wine: 2018 Louis Jadot Petit Chablis

This menu serves 4.

Let’s get cooking!


A special shoutout and thank you to my friends at Louis Jadot USA & Kobrand Wines & Spirits

(Video: Cibeles Chirino)

Ingredients: Risotto:

  • 4 cups of vegetable broth or stock

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots

  • 1 cup arborio rice

  • 1/2 teaspoon of saffron

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed, tips cut off and the spears cut into thin disks

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese


  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

  • 3/4 pounds of fresh sea scallops

  • 1 pound of fresh jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined but with tail on.

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced (approximately 2-3 tablespoons of minced garlic)

  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 2 tablespoons if fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (for garnish)


  • 3 cups of water

  • 2 cups of sugar

  • Lemon zest from two large lemons

  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh lemon juice

  • 2/3 cups of extra virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt



In a large sauce pan, on medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and cook shallots until soften. Add the saffron and stir.

Add rice and continue to cook on medium heat for a minute or two.

Add the white wine. Slowly stir, allowing the rice to absorb the wine.

Add the vegetable stock, 1/2 cup at a time (only adding after the previous addition has been absorbed by the rice). Continue to stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Stir often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

(Video: Carlos Sarmiento)

Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 20-25 minutes.

Along with what is left of the stock, add the asparagus. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes, until the risotto has absorbed the stock, but is still loose, and the asparagus are just cooked through.

Stir in the cheese and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Turn off the heat. Serve immediately.

*Note the stock amount suggested is an approximate measurement. You may need a little more or less. If you end up needing more stock and find yourself without it, just add water.

(Video: Carlos Sarmiento)


If scallops are frozen, thaw in cold water. Remove the side muscle from the scallops if attached. Thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. If fresh, pat dry with paper towels. Same procedure for the shrimps (make sure they are peeled and deveined).

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan or preferably a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot and sizzling. Add the scallops in a single layer without over crowding the pan (work in batches if needed). 

Season with salt and pepper to taste and sear for 2-3 minutes on one side (until a golden crust forms underneath), then flip and sear again for 2 minutes until crisp, lightly browned and cooked through (opaque). Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same pan and cook shrimp for 6-8 minutes (the bigger the size, the longer you cook them). Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same pan, scraping up any browned bits left over from the scallops and shrimps. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant (1 minute).

Pour in wine and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes or until wine reduces by about half. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and add lemon juice.

Add the scallops and shrimp back into the pan to warm through slightly for a minute then remove from heat and garnish with parsley. 

(Video: Carlos Sarmiento)

Sorbet: Combine water, sugar and lemon zest in medium sized pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer to reduce liquid and create syrup (approx 10 minutes).

Cool at room temperature.

Once cooled, add lemon juice and olive oil and stir well.

Blend coarsely or to desired consistency in a blender or food processor 1 part liquid blend (about 1 cup) to 2-3 parts of ice (about 2-3 cups of ice). If necessary add more liquid mixture for stronger flavor.

Note: the sorbet should be blended with the ice during dessert time to ensure it holds its shape and form. It should be served immediately after it has been blended. See below for serving instructions.

Serve it up!

Main entree:

Gently spoon a generous size portion of the risotto to the middle of a dish, creating a not-too-high heap. Top evenly with seared scallops and shrimps and garnish the top with small pieces of fresh parsley.

For added texture, grate some more fresh cheese on top and around the dish as well as freshly cracked black pepper.


As soon as the sorbet is blended, it should be served immediately on chilled ice cream cups or bowls. Garnish by sprinkling a little sea salt on top.

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Wine pairing

This posting’s wine pairing is of particular uniqueness to me because it is a gift, courtesy of Louis Jadot Wines USA and their national distributor, Kobrand Wines & Spirits.

The much-celebrated Croque Monsieur sandwich recipe posting with the delicious pairing of Louis Jadot’s Beaujolais-Village caught the attention of the gracious folks at Louis Jadot and Kobrand.

They love and support the website and encourage future food and wine pairings.

As you can see, I am pairing these dishes with a smooth, versatile dry white wine. A 2018 Louis Jadot, Petit Chablis, Burgundy, France.

(Available online at various retailers and at fine grocery stores and liquor stores $22-$25).

Petit Chablis is located in the northern part of Burgundy, halfway between Dijon and Paris. The continental climate brings very cold temperatures in winter followed by spring frosts and hot summers. These conditions and the marly limestone soils combine to mold the unique character of Chablis wines.

Petit Chablis may be served chilled and goes perfectly with oysters, shellfish, fish tartare as well as charcuterie, fresh cuisine, salads,

and goat cheese.

Merci beaucoup Louis Jadot USA and Kobrand Wines & Spirits!

Bon appetit! À votre santé! Cheers!


(Photo: María José Antunez de Mayolo)

547 views5 comments

5 Σχόλια

Jan DiSanto
Jan DiSanto
03 Νοε 2021

I wanted to love this, but.... since this was my first time using saffron, I was already aware "a little goes a long way", so I only used about a 1/4 teaspoon (instead of the 1 tablespoon in recipe). Although the color was beautiful, the taste (and smell) resembled hay! I love risotto and make it often. Sadly I had to toss the whole pot of risotto!!! The saffron I used was dried perfectly, the color was bright, and the use by date was not until '23, so I know it was good. Guess it's a love/hate thing when using saffron!


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Carlos Sarmiento
Carlos Sarmiento
03 Νοε 2021
Απάντηση σε

Thanks for your comments Jan. I’m sorry that it didn’t come out to your liking. I’ll revise the recipe and see about adjusting the amount of saffron.

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Flor Gomez
Flor Gomez
05 Σεπ 2020

Awesome combination! Yum 😋

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31 Αυγ 2020

You can linger in this region as long as you like. I have to try this dish! Love the pairing with the Louis Jadot Petit Chablis.

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Aida Limongi
Aida Limongi
30 Αυγ 2020

Perfect 3 course Mediterranean dinner and the pairing Louis Jadot Petit Chablis

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