Tre Luna’s Pan-Seared Scallops over Pumpkin Risotto

pumpkin risotto
Image Courtesy of Sara Walker

With pumpkin season in full swing, chef Brian Mooney from Tre Luna Bar & Kitchen in Hoover, Alabama delivers a perfect fall-inspired dish to celebrate. This creamy pumpkin risotto features a hint of nutmeg and is topped with perfectly seared scallops, creating a decadent and comforting dish. This risotto recipe is simple and approachable to the home chef, yet produces an elevated dish that is sure to impress.

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Serves 6

    For the pumpkin risotto:
  • 1 small pie pumpkin, peeled and diced (½ inch cubes)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces finely chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth, divided
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup solid pack canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the scallops:
  • Scallops
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon butter

Make the pumpkin risotto:

  1. In a bowl, toss diced pumpkin with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on roasting pan. In 400 degree oven, bake until lightly brown and slightly soft.
  2. On stove, heat stock to a simmer. Continue simmering while preparing recipe.
  3. Heat a nonstick pot until hot. Reduce heat to medium high and add oil. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion softens. Stir in rice, coat well. Add wine. Cook until wine has evaporated.
  4. Add 1 cup heated stock and nutmeg to rice. Reduce heat so mixture simmers. Stir often, cooking until most liquid is absorbed. Repeat with another cup of stock. Continue stirring, adding stock until rice is almost tender but still has some bite.
  5. To mixture, add pumpkin puree, diced pumpkin, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until mixture is hot.

Make the scallops:

  1. Pat scallops dry with paper towel. Season scallops with salt and pepper.
  2. In a sauté pan on high heat, add olive oil and butter. Melt butter until slightly brown.
  3. Add scallops to pan one at a time, leaving ample space between them. Cook scallop 90 seconds. Flip and repeat on other side. (Pro tip: Mooney says to get the best sear on the scallop, do not move it until it’s time. The scallop will develop a nice crust on it, and you will be able to see the browning on the sides of the scallop.)
  4. Pull from pan. Serve immediately with pumpkin risotto.
  • Recipe By
    From Brian Mooney of Tre Luna Bar & Kitchen in Hoover, Alabama

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