Seared Scallops with Saffron Cream Crab Sauce and Risotto Verde

John & I belong to Jaffurs Winery in Santa Barbara.  On Tuesday night, we were invited to Cecco Ristorante in Solvang for a 5-course meal that included a glass of Jaffurs wine with each course.  The food was incredible and magical with the wine pairings.  One course we particularly liked was a potato and goat cheese ravioli with saffron cream sauce topped with crab meat.

We had 4 large crab claws in our refrigerator that I bought from Fresh Fish Fanatics at the Channel Islands Farmers’ Market, so John was inspired to create this delicious dish.

Seared Scallops with Saffron Cream Crab Sauce

Steep 1/4 teaspoon Saffron threads in 2 Tablespoons boiling water.  
Set Aside.

Steam 4 large Crab Claws for 10 minutes.
Set aside to cool.

In a medium skillet, saute 2 finely diced Shallots in 4 Tablespoons Butter over medium heat.
When they begin to soften, stir in:
3/4 cup White Wine
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
Reserved Saffron Broth with threads
Simmer until reduced by half – about 15 minutes.
Stir in 1 cup cream
Add Salt & Pepper, to taste.
Continue cooking until sauce thickens.

While the sauce is thickening, crack Crab Claws and extract meat.

Then, stir in Crab Meat.

Rinse 8 Sea Scallops, pat dry, and sprinkle with Sal & Pepper.
Sear Scallops in 2 Tablespoons Butter over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes on each side.

Place Scallops in dish, and pour Saffron Cream Crab Sauce over the top.

Risotto Verde

In a deep sauce pan, saute:
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 small Onion, diced

When Onions begin to soften, stir in:
1 Cup Arborio Rice
Continue stirring until rice is lightly browned

Add 4 Cups Chicken Broth in 1 Cup increments, stirring until almost completely absorbed in between additions.

Then stir in:
1 Cup White Wine
4 Tablespoons Fresh Basil (or 4 teaspoons dried)

1 Tablespoon Fresh Dill or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 cup fresh Peas (you can also use thawed frozen)Salt and Pepper, to taste

When liquid is absorbed, finish with:
1/4 Cup Cream
1/2 Cup Parmesan, shredded
Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Stir before serving.

Crab Claws for sale at the Channel Islands Farmers’ Market
These recipes are provided for your personal use. If you publish them, or re-post them, please give me credit. Grazie e Buon Appetito!


  1. says

    I first tried scallops while I was studying in New England and I loved them! Lately I am able to find them here in Greece too but they are quite expensive so I don’t eat them very often! This is a beautiful dish and I am keeping it to try it when I will buy scallops. I am also a big fan of risotto!

  2. says

    Susan, Such a lovely dinner! Perfect for this time of the year…scallops are my favorite! The photo of the risotto is wonderful! Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

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