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Smoked Alaskan Salmon Risotto

Today's recipe features risotto, the creamy rice dish that too often is experienced as a packaged mix.

The best known rice used to make risotto is the super-fine Arborio strain, which would well work for this recipe.

But you'll get creamier results from the semi-fine, super-absorbent rice called Vialone Nano, grown in rolling flatlands in the southern half of the Italian province of Verona.

Compared with Arborio, it is harder to overcook this more forgiving Italian rice, which is found in some gourmet stores or shops specializing in Italian ingredients.

This recipe also calls for chervil: a more delicate cousin of parsley offering a hint of licorice flavor. Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is native to the Caucasus region, and was spread through Europe by the Romans.

Smoked Alaskan Salmon Risotto
Adapted from The New York Times

The combined prep and cooking time is about 40 minutes.
Serves 4

2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped fennel bulb
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup risotto rice (preferably Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup dry white wine
About 4 cups warm chicken stock
Sea salt and ground organic black pepper
8 oz hot-smoked Sockeye Salmon or King Salmon, in small chunks
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon minced chervil (or parsley)
  • Heat oil in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Add onion, fennel and garlic and sauté over low heat until soft. Stir in rice. Cook a few minutes. Add wine. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until most of the wine has been absorbed.

  • Add stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring, adding more as each portion is absorbed. After adding 1 1/2 cups, season with salt and pepper and fold in Salmon. Keep adding stock until rice is al dente but mixture is still creamy, about 17 minutes total.

  • Fold in lemon zest and chervil. Check seasoning and serve.

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