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No need to make reservations or maintain proper social distancing when

you plan a romantic dinner at home. This menu is portioned to serve two, with the salad and dessert easily prepped earlier in the day. At dinner time, join forces in the kitchen with one putting the finishing touches on the risotto while the other sears the scallops. Chenin Blanc would be a lovely partner to this menu, but if reds are your preference, try a Pinot Noir. End your meal with a steaming espresso as the perfect accompaniment to the rich chocolate mousse.

Love is in the air — l’amour est dans l’air.

Seared Scallops with Lemon Browned Butter


■ 1 tablespoon olive oil

■ 6 large sea scallops, patted dry

■ Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

■ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

■ 4 sprigs fresh thyme

■ 1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced

■ 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


Heat oil in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper and cook until deep golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Do not crowd scallops in pan or they will steam, not sear. Turn scallops and add butter, thyme and tomato to pan. Continue cooking, spooning butter over scallops often, until scallops are cooked through and butter is brown and smells nutty, about 2 minutes longer. Squeeze lemon juice over. Serve scallops over risotto, topping with brown butter sauce.