Our Buttery Tomato Orzo with Blackened Scallops has all of the creaminess of a traditional risotto, but is made a little bit healthier with the addition of whole-wheat orzo. It's packed with luscious tomato flavor rivaling the most perfect marinara and hints of nutty brown butter, making it my current favorite thing to eat. We serve ours with perfectly seared blackened scallops, but the protein of choice is up to you.
Pat the scallops dry and remove the little tag or beard on the side of the scallop. Season both side of the scallop with salt and pepper. Sprinkle both sides of the scallops with the seasoning mixture.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet to a medium heat. Add ½ tablespoon butter Swirl to coat the pan. Add the scallops. Sear 1-2 minutes until they have a blackened crust. Flip and do the same. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Add remaining butter to the hot skillet. Add onion and ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss to coat in the butter. Sauté until slightly softened and translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic. Cook one minute. Add orzo and toss in the onion and garlic. Toast for one minute.
Stir in the Red Gold Tomato Paste and cook for one minute.
Stir in the white wine. Let it reduce for a minute or two and then stir in the canned tomatoes and one cup of the chicken stock and another ¼ teaspoon salt. Let the mixture come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, stirring every 2-3 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in another cup of chicken stock and ¼ teaspoon salt. Continue to simmer and stir every 2-3 minutes until the liquid has absorbed. At this point, the orzo should be cooked to aldente. If it’s not, add another ¼ cup of stock and stir until the liquid has absorbed and the orzo is cooked.
Turn the heat off and stir in heavy cream, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, honey, and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.