Champagne Risotto with Caramelized Scallops and Coral Butter


  • 6 scallops, with roe
  • 75 g (3 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 scant tablespoon chervil, finely chopped
  • 150 g (5 oz) risotto rice
  • up to 450 mls (¾ pint) fish or vegetable stock, simmering
  • about 150 mls (¼ pint) champagne seasoning


Rinse the scallops, discard the pad of muscle and put the roe and scallops to one side.

Poach the roe in water or a little of the measured fish stock for 3 to 4 minutes, and put aside until cool. Keep the liquid to add to the risotto. When cool, pound the roe with half the butter, and then stir in the chervil. Chill until required.

Melt the rest of the butter in a heavy pan, and stir in the rice. Pour on a quarter of the stock, and cook, stirring until the liquid has been absorbed before adding a bit more, a little at a time. You may need to add more or less liquid, depending on how creamy you like your risotto.

Halfway through cooking, add the champagne.

Just before you are ready to serve the risotto, season to taste, then quickly grill or fry the scallops, on both sides, using a high heat to lightly caramelize, and arrange three for each serving on the risotto, which is best served in heated soup plates.

Spoon the coral butter on top, and it will melt into the risotto, adding to the creamy unctuousness. Serve immediately.