5 cups fish or chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1 small stalk celery, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped celery leaf
1 1/2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice
1/3 cup dry vermouth
1/4 cup unsalted butter
zest of 1 small lemon
1/3 cup fresh basil leaf, torn
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt, or more if desired
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring stock to a boil, reduce to simmer, and keep on the stove near the pot of rice. In a large, heavy saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and stir with a wooden spoon until softened. Add celery and celery leaf and stir. Add rice and stir until well combined. Pour in vermouth and simmer, stirring, until liquid is almost reduced. Begin adding hot stock 1/3 cup at a time, stirring continuously until liquid is almost absorbed before adding the next. Continue until rice is al dente and a creamy sauce has formed, about half an hour. Rice can scorch easily, so do not leave unattended. At end, stir in butter, lemon zest, and basil and season with salt and pepper.

Seared Scallops

2 tablespoons olive oil
12 very large (U/10 size) sea scallops, preferably dry-pack diver scallops
kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Sprinkle scallops lightly with salt and pepper and add to pan (do not crowd). Cook until golden brown on the outside and almost opaque but still slightly translucent in the center, turning once. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Saffron Mascarpone

1 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small skillet bring saffron, wine, and lemon juice to a simmer. Cool slightly and whisk into mascarpone. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, spoon risotto onto warm plates, top with scallops, and serve immediately with a dollop of mascarpone. Serves 4.