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  • Weyand's Chef

Garlic Spiked Spicy Scallops on Garlic Lemon Risotto

This recipe is for garlic lovers. It uses garlic 5 different ways: steeped to create garlic water, infused into honey, roasted, cooked, raw and fermented. Scallops are stuffed with chewy, fruity fermented black garlic and spiced with more garlic and other spices. The risotto is cooked down with garlic water and a sweet and sour roasted lemon sauce that uses a whole head of caramel-y rich roasted garlic . Amazingly all this gorgeous garlic doesn’t taste overly garlicky- but full bodied and delicious.

Garlic Water:

5 cups water

6 large garlic cloves, cut in half

Bring water and garlic to a boil, let cool and steep it till ready to use. Then strain. Save garlic for another use.

Sweet and Sour Lemon Garlic Sauce:

1 head of garlic, roasted (about 10 cloves), mashed

2 Meyer lemons, seeded, sliced and chopped

2 teaspoons minced ginger

2 tablespoons garlic honey

2 teaspoons spicy Yuzu sauce or lime juice with a pinch of red pepper flakes

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup white tea

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and cook down for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. The mixture will thicken as it cools, but the consistency should still be loose and pourable.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup diced shallot

1/4 cup diced fennel bulb

1 cup arborio rice

1 pinch saffron

1 small roasted orange beet, grated

5 cups garlic water above

1 batch of the Sweet and Sour sauce above

In a large dutch oven or saucepan heat the oil. Sauté the shallot and fennel for 1 minute. Pour in rice and stir for another minute to “toast” and throughly coat the rice with the oil. Add 1 cup of the garlic water to the pan and cook on low, stirring often until the water is absorbed. Add another cup of the water and repeat until the liquid is absorbed. Now add the remaining water, the lemon sauce, saffron and grated beet. Stir and cover with a tight lid. Simmer on low another 15 minutes or until the rice is very tender.


16 large scallops (about 1 1/2 pounds), rinsed and patted dry

8 black garlic cloves, sliced in half lengthwise

3 black garlic cloves, finely grated

1 tablespoon fennel seed

1 tablespoon coriander seed

1 teaspoon cumin seed

1 tablespoon each black and white peppercorns, crushed

1 tablespoon grated garlic leftover from the garlic water

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter


With a very sharp knife make a small slice in each scallop. Slide a half of the black garlic clove into the slit and press shut. Mix all of the spices plus the grated garlic in a small bowl.

Brush both sides of each scallop with the oil, then coat both sides with some of the spice mix.

Heat the remaining oil and butter in a large cast iron skillet (or heavy skillet). Sear the scallops on 3 minutes per side or until opaque all the way through.

To serve: ladle some of the risotto into 4 serving plates. Top with 3 or 4 of the scallops, garnish with a fennel frond and serve.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Brier Neel, our good friend, and award-winning chef.

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