After our last day of racing at the Olympic Trials, my parents took my husband Alex, me and Jess out to eat in St. Armand’s Circle. We picked an Italian restaurant that had caught my eye the previous week when Jess and I were on more stringent meal plans. After several days of racing, I was craving a hearty, warm meal, and savored the salmon risotto that I ordered for lunch. After the meal, we stopped by Kilwin’s for ice cream, at my sister-in-law Becky’s recommendation. I ordered the Heavenly Hash flavor, which I had not come across since college!
This blog entry is the first in a series of six ways to prepare salmon. Salmon is one of the staples in the Taylor kitchen, and Jess’s boyfriend Austin recently requested my top three salmon recipes. There are so many favorites to chose from, so why not six?
For my birthday eve meal, Alex and I cooked our own version of salmon risotto. We loaded up our risotto with as many veggies as possible, and used the Persian spice zarchobeh for extra flavor and color. We broiled two small filets of salmon, and added the cooked salmon after the Arborio rice had absorbed all of our cooking liquid.
Syd’s Birthday Eve Salmon Risotto – serves 4 to 6
We used 1/2 stick of butter as recommended in the “Wild mushroom risotto with peas” recipe by Giada de Laurentiis in “Everyday Italian,” but you could get away with using half that amount. Allow a full hour for cooking this meal; the risotto alone takes at least 30 minutes, and you will want to be patient while all cooking liquids get absorbed. White wine is traditionally a popular addition to risotto. If you want to use white wine, pick a dry wine and add just 2/3 of a cup after you add your Arborio rice.
You will need:
- 1 lb of salmon
- ½ T dried basil
- ½ T garlic salt
- ½ T black pepper
- ½ stick of butter
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 or 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 C white button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 ½ C Arborio rice
- 32 oz chicken broth
- ½ T cayenne pepper
- 1 T zarchobeh or turmeric
- 1 can artichoke hearts
- 1 C frozen peas
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 1 handful fresh basil, washed and torn
- ¼ C shredded parmesan
- Add half of your dried basil, garlic salt and black pepper to the bottom of an oven-safe ceramic dish. Place salmon filets on top of spices, skin down, and add the remaining basil, garlic salt and pepper to the top of the filets.
- Broil salmon for approximately 20 minutes on high.
- In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add thinly sliced red onion as soon as butter has melted, and stir for five minutes until the slices begin to soften.
- Add chopped garlic and thinly sliced red peppers to your pan, stirring to combine. After a few more minutes, add chopped mushrooms.
- When mushrooms begin to darken, add your Arborio rice to the mix.
- Start adding chicken broth by the cupful, and stir while broth is absorbed by rice (about 5 minutes per cup of broth).
- After you have added three cups of broth, add your cayenne pepper and zarchobeh or turmeric. Add your final cup of broth.
- When your broth has mostly been absorbed, add canned artichoke hearts, peas, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes. Stir to combine for about five minutes or until all ingredients have heated through. Finally, add shredded parmesan and stir to combine evenly.
The first risotto recipe I ever followed came from Giada’s cookbook. Patrick and I made the “wild mushroom risotto with peas” found on page 131 of “Everyday Italian.” I followed the sequence of Giada’s recipe loosely when I created this dish.
Source: Laurentiis, Giada De. Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2005. Print.