Spring is upon us and what better way to celebrate than with a gorgeous, easy, spring inspired risotto! Delicious flakes of hot smoked salmon paired with fresh crunchy veg and loaded with herbs and lemon………it was the ultimate way to kick off one of my favourite seasons.


Prep time:  15  Minutes              Cooking time:  20-25 Minutes                $  Low Budget


Serves 4


Olive oil for frying

20gm of butter

300gm of hot smoked salmon, flaked* (it pulls apart easily with your hands)

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

Grated rind of 1 lemon

1 brown onion, finely diced

1 baby fennel bulb, finely diced

1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 2cm pieces

100gm of snow peas, ends removed and sliced

1 cup of frozen baby peas

2 cups of arborio rice

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup of dry white wine

750ml of veg or chicken stock, warmed

2 tbs of finely chopped dill

2 tbs of finely chopped continental parsley

4 tbs of sour cream

Sea Salt and cracked pepper

Lemon wedges and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to serve


Heat a large saucepan and add the oil and butter.  Lightly fry the onion until it is just starting to soften and then add the garlic, lemon rind and fennel.  Fry for a few minutes and then pour in your rice.  Saute` the rice, stirring continuously for a minute or so and make sure the grains are nicely coated with the oily mix.


Keeping the pot an a low to medium heat, add half the lemon juice (you will use the rest for the sour cream) and white wine.  Stir occasionally, to prevent sticking and allow the rice to absorb all the liquid before gradually adding the stock.  Some people insist on stirring the whole time but I find if you stir it occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking it is fine.


When all the liquid is mostly absorbed, have a taste (the rice should be almost cooked), season with salt and pepper and then add the peas, asparagus and snow peas.  Stir to combine, reduce the heat to low and then pop a lid on for a couple of minutes to allow the veggies to steam.  Remove the lid and gently stir through the hot smoked salmon, one tablespoon of the sour cream and most of the herbs, reserving a little pile for garnish.


In a small bowl combine the sour cream, reserved lemon juice and season with salt an pepper.


To serve, divide the risotto between four serving bowls and place a dollop of  sour cream on each.  Sprinkle over the remaining herbs, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve with lemon wedges.  You can serve it with a small shaving of parmesan if you so desire……


*  Hot Smoked Salmon is found in the refrigerated deli section of the supermarket.  It is a bit pricey but is packed full of flavour so you won’t need much.