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Crab Risotto with Salmon Caviar and Fresh Herbs


Since opening her first restaurant in 1988, Donatella Arpaia has lent her expertise to string of successful restaurants – like Davidburke & Donatella, Anthos, and Kefi – and has earned accolades like James Beard Nominations and Michelin Stars.

As she says, "My passion for food was formed at a young age. Spending summers at my grandfather's Italian olive farm & growing up in Dad's restaurants, food is in my DNA." 

"Mama Maria's lessons in the kitchen are some of my fondest memories, and they were invaluable to the foundation of my cooking.”

"As a child, I literally grew up in the restaurant industry. My parents even had my crib in the kitchen next to the dishwasher and the sound would lull me to sleep! Both my father and my older brother are successful restaurateurs in New York City.”


Crab Risotto with Salmon Caviar and Fresh Herbs

7 cups fish stock or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 small celery heart, finely chopped (optional) 
2 tablespoons tomato paste 1¼ cups white wine 
2¼ cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
8 ounces lump crabmeat 
Small handful tiny sprigs fresh dill or chervil, or snipped chives 
1/2 to 3/4 cup crème fraiche (optional) 
2 ounces salmon caviar 
  1. Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Partially cover and keep hot.
  2. Warm the butter and oil in a large, heavy- bottomed pot. Add the shallots and celery (if using) & sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer, uncovered, until it has completely evaporated. 
  4. Add the rice, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until the kernels begin to turn opaque. 
  5. Add enough hot stock just to cover the rice in batches, stirring and scraping down the sides of the pan until the risotto is loose and creamy, about 18 to 20 minutes. 
  6. Stir in the crabmeat, breaking it up, then remove from the heat. 
  7. Stir in the dill and season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  8. Top each serving with a dollop of crème fraiche and a spoonful of salmon caviar.
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