Bad Day Risotto

I made this risotto last week after a particularly bad day. All that stirring is good for  working out stress and frustration. It helped, lots. Particularly with a crisp, cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc haha!


I took the recipe from a cookbook written by a teenager complete with shots of him chilling with the lads and date nights (oooo!). It’s Sam Stern’s Real Food Real Fast and it’s a good wee book to have for quick dinners and would be good for students, too.

This risotto was delicious. A combination of the sharp saltiness from the cheddar and the smoked salmon gave the dish a subtle smokiness akin to whiskey, which is balanced by the lightness of the lemon, a great summer dish. Salmon as an oily fish has a lot of omega-3 and I gave the dish an extra boost of greens in the form of peas to make it a bit more healthy.

Salmon, cheese and green leaf risotto (adapted from Sam Stern’s Real Food Real Fast)

Serves 4

1.2 litres chicken, fish or vegetable stock

75g butter

1 medium to large onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

225g hot-smoked salmon broken into pieces

150mL white wine

50g mature cheddar cheese, grated

2/3 cup frozen peas

50g baby spinach leaves

2tsp fresh parsley, chopped

50mL cream or crème fraîche or single cream

Salt and black pepper

Squeeze of lemon juice (I added the zest of a lemon as well, to really boost the flavour)

Grated parmesan for serving

Pour stock into a pan, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and keep warm.

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Cook onion and garlic in the butter on a low heat for a few minutes until soft, not coloured.

Turn up the heat a bit. Tip rice into the pan. Stir to coat and add the wine. It will splutter and crackle. Cook, stirring until it’s absorbed.

Add a ladle of hot stock, stirring as you go. When nearly absorbed add another, continuing over 15-20 minutes until all the stock is used. Add peas when half the stock has been used. Test rice to check that it is tender. Add more liquid if needed.

Turn off heat. Stir in cheese, cream, baby spinach, salmon and herbs and season. Add the lemon juice and zest. Taste and adjust. Top with grated parmesan and herbs. Serve in soup bowls.

Music! I listened to this superb mix from Miss Moss. So much fun! I had a good wee boogie round the kitchen.


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