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Salmon & Fennel Risotto with Carrot & Pumpkin

Serves 6-8

I love being able to throw recipes together especially when I have a few mouths to feed and not much in the fridge, I think it’s the satisfaction of being able to just combine flavours and be beautifully surprised when they all come together. This recipe is one of those, I only had two salmon fillets, a small wedge of pumpkin, one carrot and had risotto in the pantry and 5 adults to feed so a risotto it was. I always find that when you roast of brown of the vegetables before adding them to the risotto they give off so much more flavour. I was a little indulgent and topped this dish with a very huge dollop of mascarpone, to which I felt it went perfectly.

2 tblsp butter ½ cup Lirah Chardonnay verjus
1 tblsp olive oil About 1 ½ lt of vegetable or chicken stock
2 cup diced pumpkin, peeled and seeded 2 x 180g salmon potions, chopped
1 carrot peeled and diced Salt and pepper
1/2 brown onion, diced Zest of ½ lemon
1 small fennel, trimmed and diced Mascarpone and spinach leaves for garnishing
2 cups of risotto rice

Method

Place the stock into a saucepan and onto a low heat bringing it up to a simmer. Heat the butter and the oil in a saucepan until hot and fry the carrot and the pumpkin until golden but still firm, remove from the pan and set aside.

Add in the diced onion and fennel and cook for 3 minutes, pour in the risotto and the verjus and stir until the verjuice has been absorbed. Ladle in about 1 cup of the hot stock stirring it into the rice until all of the stock has been absorbed. Continue with the stock until the rice is just cooked, or still has a bite to it, this will take about  10 – 15 minutes depending on the heat although always cook the risotto over  a moderate temperature. If you have run out of stock add some more to heat up.

Add in the lightly browned vegetables into the risotto and the diced salmon with the seasoning and lemon zest. If the risotto is too thick add in more stock it should be the consistency of a runny porridge. This is why it is important to turn off the heat when the risotto still has a bite as it will continue to cook and absorb the stock after the heat is off so you may need to add in more stock just before you serve it so that it doesn’t end up a gluggy mess.

Stir a good tablespoon of the mascarpone into the pot and then garnish each of the bowls of risotto with some spinach, mascarpone and fresh fennel fronds.