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Saffron-infused barley risotto, wild mushrooms and caramelized scallops

In 9 steps
Vanessa Langlois
February 12, 2021
Locaal Saffron-infused barley risotto, wild mushrooms and caramelized scallops

Don't have any ideas for your dinner? No problem! Here is a recipe for barley risotto with Quebec saffron and scallops for a memorable romantic evening or to surprise your guests!




20 minutes


1 hour and 40 minutes


1 liter (4 cups) usalted chicken broth, preferably homemade
60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
125 ml (1/2 tasse) white onions, chopped
155g (3/4 cup) Quebec pearl barley
80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine
250 ml (1 cup) Quebec Parmesan cheese
15 ml (1 tablespoon) fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly grinded pepper

90 ml (6 tablespoons) vegetable oil

250 ml (1 cup) of various wild mushrooms from Quebec (oyster mushrooms, chanterelles, shiitake mushrooms, etc.)
12 Quebec scallops, size U12
Fresh chervil leaves (optional)


  • 1

    In a saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the saffron pistils. Leave to infuse for 1 hour.

  • 2
    After 1 hour, heat the infused broth just below boiling point.
  • 3

    In a skillet, heat 60 ml (1/4 cup) of olive oil over medium heat. Sweat the onions for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add barley and cook for 1 minute while stirring.

  • 4

    Deglaze with white wine and let it reduce by half.

  • 5
    Add the saffron-infused stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue cooking, stirring continuously until the barley is tender and the risotto has a creamy texture.
  • 6
    Remove from the heat, add the Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Set aside for 10 minutes before serving
  • 7
    Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of vegetable oil over high heat. Add mushrooms. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until mushrooms are golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
  • 8
    In the same skillet, heat 45 ml (3 tablespoons) of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Sear for about 2 minutes, or until scallops are well caramelized. Turn scallops over and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
  • 9
    Arrange the risotto in 4 shallow plates. Garnish with mushrooms, scallops and chervil. Serve immediately.
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