Moving into February, we can leave all the craziness of January behind and start looking forward to one of the loveliest days of the year: Valentine's Day! Which means it’s time to cook a little something special for your partner or any loved one. No dinner says “romance” quite like this Scallops over Mushroom Risotto recipe. Don’t worry it’s not really scallops, it’s made out of King Oyster Mushrooms, a versatile ingredient that can be used to substitute many meaty ingredients. In this case, we are using it both for the scallops and the risotto.

Now, if you’ve never cooked risotto before this may feel weird to cook, as the method isn’t the same as cooking a batch of rice. First off, the type of grain that is traditionally used is called Arborio, which is just a type of short-grain rice. That being said, you can use any kind of short-grain rice you like. Second off, a rule of thumb when making risotto is for every 1 Cup of rice you want to use 4-6 cups of stock, in this case, we’re using veggie stock to keep it vegan. Third off, the way you cook risotto is by ladling in your veggie stock. You want to make sure the veggie stock is absorbed and cooked off before you ladle in more veggie stock. Now, this part is very important: make sure your veggie stock is hot! You want to bring your veggie stock to a boil and then down to a simmer to keep it hot. Your risotto won’t cook properly if you use cold veggie stock.

I know that this can seem like a lot, but just be patient and follow the steps of the recipe down below and I’m sure you’ll end up with a creamy and delicious risotto paired with some banging “scallops." Whoever you cook for will be impressed for sure!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 King Oyster Mushrooms
  • 3 Cups Boiling Water
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Arborio Rice
  • 4-6 Cups Veggie Stock
  • 1 Shallot, finely diced
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Vegan Butter
  • ¼ Cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese, shredded

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large pot, bring your veggie stock to a boil and then down to a gentle simmer. Keep it slightly simmering to keep your veggie stock hot.
  2. Cut the stems of your mushrooms into 1-inch thick medallions. Save the mushroom tops, we’ll be using it for the risotto. In a large bowl, combine your boiling water, salt, and rice wine vinegar. Stir until salt is dissolved. Add your king oyster mushroom medallions into the water, salt, vinegar mixture. You can use another bowl to put on top of it to make sure it’s all submerged. Let is soak for 20-30 minutes while you cook the risotto.
  3. To cook the risotto, in a medium-sized saucepan, heat up some olive oil over medium heat. While oil is heating up, slice the mushroom tops and set aside.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add in your mushroom tops and cook for 2-3 minutes or until it starts to brown. Once mushrooms are slightly browned, add in your chopped shallots and minced garlic and cook while stirring for another 2-3 minutes until shallots become translucent.
  5. Add your risotto to the saucepan and cook for 1 minute while constantly stirring.
  6. Ladle in one scoop of your hot veggie broth into the risotto mixture, and constantly stir until there is no more liquid. Ladle in another scoop of veggie broth and repeat until you finish your broth. Over time your risotto will become creamy and thicken.
  7. Once your risotto is fully cooked, add in your butter and vegan parmesan cheese. Stir until butter and parmesan cheese is fully incorporated. Remove from heat, and cover your risotto as you cook your “scallops”
  8. In a large pan, heat up some oil or vegan butter over medium heat. Carefully transfer your mushroom medallions into the pan and cook for 4-6 minutes or until it becomes golden brown. Flip it and cook for another 4-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and assemble your dish.
  9. To assemble, scoop the risotto onto a plate and serve your scallops on top. Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley and even serve with a side of your favorite veggies. Eat right away and enjoy it!