Salmon and green bean risotto

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Last week, I had a reunion with my flatmates from university whom I hadn’t seen in a while – a perfect opportunity to cook a nice dinner and catch up. One of them is an extraordinary baker who shares her secrets via a blog! She made us a beautiful vanilla   cake with gold-plated leaves on top… the recipe for that is here.

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We decided to make this risotto as we had cooked a similar one last year when we lived together. And when we went to the shops and saw that the salmon was half-price, we knew we had made the right decision! It was a bitterly cold evening and so this risotto was the perfect dish to warm us inside and out.

Serves three hungry girls, with room for cake.

–          2-3 tbsp butter

–          1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

–          4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

–          300g risotto rice

–          1 cup white wine

–          One cube vegetable or chicken stock

–          A kettle filled with boiling water

–          100g green beans, trimmed and chopped

–          Fresh parsley, chopped

–          200g smoked salmon, chopped

–          Juice of half a lemon

–          Black pepper (to taste)

–          3 big tbsp light cream cheese (I am far from health-conscious, but in this case the light version tastes better… it also makes sure the risotto doesn’t weigh down your stomach more than is necessary)

–          3 generous handfuls of grated mozzarella

Fry the onion and garlic in butter until the onion is translucent and the garlic gives off an irresistible aroma. Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes before adding the white wine. Stir until all the wine has evaporated and then add the stock (some recipes tell you to make the stock in a saucepan and add it slowly – I usually crumble it in to the pan and slowly add boiling water from the kettle). Keep stirring as you gradually add the stock for around 20 minutes on medium heat. Add the green beans and lemon juice, stir and cook for another 5-10 minutes (I like my beans crunchy – if you prefer them soft just add them earlier). Then add the cream cheese, mix a little and add the mozzarella cheese and black pepper. The risotto should be creamy and only need a few more minutes of stirring after this. I taste small spoonfuls throughout the cooking process to see when it’s done, as it depends on what your hob is like and what heat you are cooking it at.

We served the salmon and parsley on the side and added it on top of our bowls, however, you can also add it into the pan a few minutes after you add the beans if you prefer your salmon slightly cooked. Either way, it’s scrumptious! Garnish with some fresh black pepper for a tasty zing.

Full credit to The Baking Medic for her photography skills, the use of her kitchen and the fantastic cake!

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