Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lemon Risotto with Salmon

I'm back from Stockholm, Sweden! I had a fun but hectic time, working as much as 17 hours a day. It's amazing how, when you're really busy, a double-shift can pass as quickly as half a shift. I got to see some gorgeous sights along the way and visit some of Stockholm's most beautiful buildings (City Hall, Grand Hotel, Concert Hall, and more). But I'm happy to be back home in Canada. And I've missed all of you and your comments and blog posts - I've got lots to catch up on!

Before I left for Sweden, I made this lemon risotto topped with salmon. The risotto is adapted from a Giada de Laurentiis appetizer recipe. It's made with rice that is simmered in chicken broth and white wine. The rice is constantly stirred while more broth is added. When the risotto is creamy and cooked al dente, lemon juice and zest, parmesan cheese, butter, and heavy cream (if using) are stirred into the mixture and a simply prepared salmon filet is sliced up and piled atop each plate of risotto.

Fish and lemon are a natural pairing, but when it's not just lemon but a creamy, rich lemon risotto, the combination is even better! Still, this risotto is fantastic with or without the salmon.

Lemon Risotto
Adapted from a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
Serves 4-6

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons butter
2 large shallots, diced (or half a medium onion, minced)
1.5 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus 3 tablespoons
3 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
3/4 a lemon, zested and juiced (the best way to do this is to juice and zest 1 whole lemon and use all but 1/4 of the juice and zest)
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan bring the broth and 1 cup water to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep hot over low heat.

In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots or onion and saute until tender but not brown. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add a ladleful of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of the broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, at least 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan, heavy cream if using, the lemon zest and juice, and the salt and pepper, plus more to taste if necessary.

Serve immediately with salmon and sprinkle with remaining parmesan.

To make salmon:
This salmon is cooked very simply so that it complements but doesn't take away from the flavour of the risotto.

1 salmon fillet per person
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Season salmon fillets on each side with salt and pepper. Add to frying pan and cook for a few minutes on each side until cooked through (light pink in colour and flaky).


Steph April 30, 2009 at 9:11:00 AM EDT  

Welcome back! Sweden must have been so much fun. I wonder what kind of desserts they have there?

matty April 30, 2009 at 11:31:00 AM EDT  

It's nice to have you back in North America!

MaryBeth April 30, 2009 at 8:52:00 PM EDT  

Fabulous picture...your risotto looks so creamy and light. this dish looks like something I could just curl up and eat and be very happy about doing so! Glad to have you back!

Pamela May 2, 2009 at 12:54:00 AM EDT  

Welcome back! Sounds like it was a good and productive trip. The risotto looks and sounds delicious.

Jason Wong May 4, 2009 at 11:29:00 PM EDT  

Like that risotto. It is like our oriental steamed white rice with gravy. Gravy is made by combining ingredients that you prefer and stir fry, then add soup stock or liquid to make the gravy.

Ben May 5, 2009 at 8:57:00 AM EDT  

17 hours a day? WOW, those are long work days. Your risotto looks amazing. The pictures are making me hungry :)

from my motorhome to yours May 5, 2009 at 11:10:00 AM EDT  

I love risotto & salmon I have to put it on my list of things to make!! thanks

Anonymous May 5, 2009 at 3:47:00 PM EDT  

Lemon risotto sounds fabulous. Perfect with salmon.

Your travel pictures look amazing!

Claudia May 5, 2009 at 10:40:00 PM EDT  

Lucky you - Sweden? And what a gorgeous recipe. Risotto and salmon - screams spring! Spring at last! Very, very pretty.

Kaitlin May 5, 2009 at 11:13:00 PM EDT  

Thanks for the warm welcome back, everyone! It feels great to be back :)

Ela "need quick cash" Hobs May 21, 2009 at 12:48:00 AM EDT  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lia "business courses"Scott May 25, 2009 at 10:26:00 PM EDT  

thanks for the post..

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