Lunchbreak: Cafe Robey

Café Robey Executive Chef Kevin McAllister

Café Robey
2018 W. North Avenue
(872) 315-3060


Bay Scallops and Parsnip Farro Risotto


1 cup farro

1 medium white onion

1 shallot

4 cups vegetable stock

¼ cup heavy cream

1 lemon

1 ½ TBSP Cold butter

1 ruby red grapefruit

3 medium parsnips

4 cups vegetable oil

2 tablespoons of micro greens

2 tablespoons of chives

1 pound bay scallops


For the Parsnip puree

Peel two parsnips and quarter, remove the core. The core will add a bitter taste to the puree. Dice the remaining parsnip and set aside. Sauté the shallot until translucent and tender. Add the diced parsnip, ¼ cup heavy cream and a ¼ cup of vegetable stock. Cover and cook until the liquid is gone and the parsnips are tender. Puree in a blender and pass through a chinois or fine strainer. Set aside for the risotto


For the parsnip chips

Peel the remaining parsnip and discard the peel. With the vegetable peeler continue to peel the parsnip down to the core saving the thin strands of parsnip. Place the strands into the oil and start to heat the oil. With a fork gently push the parsnips into the oil to make sure they cook evenly. Cook the parsnips until they are light golden brown. Turn off the oil and remove the parsnips, they won’t be crispy until they cool down. Season lightly with salt.


For the farro

Soak one cup of farro in 4 cups of water for a minimum of 30 minutes. Small dice the onion and saute in a pot until tender. Add the farro and 1 cup of stock, cook the liquid out and add more liquid until the farro its tender. Add enough parsnip puree to make the risotto creamy, you can add vegetable stock if the risotto is too thick. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice if needed. Keep the risotto warm.


For the grapefruit

With a sharp knife peel the grapefruit. Working over a bowl hold the peeled grapefruit in one hand and the knife in the other. Cut between the membranes and remove the segments. Once they are all removed squeeze the remaining juice from it and discard the membranes, reserving the juice to make the sauce


For the scallops

Take the scallops and pat them dry with paper towel.  Heat a pan on high heat, the pan needs to be very hot. Oil the pan and place the scallops in the pan. Let the scallops caramelize on one side. Turn them and finish cooking. Once cooked remove from the pan add the grapefruit juice, reduce the juice and add 1 1/2 TBSP cold butter and emulsify into the sauce (stir until the butter is melted).



Cut the chives as small as you can, place them in the risotto. In shallow bowl cover the bottom with risotto, place the scallops evenly across the top. Fill the gaps with the grapefruit segments and drizzle the sauce over the dish. Garnish with the parsnip chips and micro greens.