Risotto with Salmon, White Wine, Shrimps & Rocket

2:43 am on 21 March 2009

Although risotto is quintessentially Italian, the texture, ingredients and method may vary from region to region. Choosing the right rice is as important as toasting the rice. Arborio rice creates a creamy texture, and this recipe embodies the taste of the Mediterranean.

(Serves 4)


  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 150 g fresh fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 courgettes, deseeded and diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 3 spring onions, finely diced
  • 2 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups fish stock, heated
  • extra hot water
  • 300g salmon fillet, cut into pieces
  • 200g cod fillet, cut into pieces
  • 200g precooked shrimps
  • 2 lemons, 1 zested and juiced, 1 in wedges
  • 3 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
  • 80g rocket leaves
  • 100ml cream
  • 150g parmesan, freshly grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat a frying-pan or electric-frying pan and add 20ml of the olive oil. Add the vegetables and garlic in order of cooking time and lightly cook. Remove from frying-pan and set aside.

2. In the same pan add the rest of the olive oil and add rice. Stir rice on a moderate heat for about 3 minutes. When rice is lightly toasted add wine and stir until absorbed. Add fish stock a cup at a time, stirring constantly until absorbed.

3. When rice is almost cooked but still al dente (you may require a little extra water), gently stir in fish, shrimps and lemon zest and juice. Take care not to break up the fish too much and just allow the heat of the rice to cook the fish. Stir in the cooked vegetables, parsley, rocket and cream and season with a little salt and pepper to taste. 

4. Serve risotto topped with parmesan, a little freshly ground black pepper and accompanied with lemon wedges. Simply divine. 

An extract from The New Zealand Seafood Cookbook, published by Penguin Group NZ.