An upscale risotto that can be easily created by you at home? Yes, we’re talking about our one and only Smoked Salmon Risotto With Lemon, Spinach and Creme Fraiche! Decadently creamy, salty and subtly smoky with the salmon, this is a filling, but elegant dinner for any fish and risotto lovers!
- Why This Recipe Works
- Ingredients and Substitutes
- What Is The Secret To Creamy Salmon Risotto?
- Recipe FAQs
- What Goes Well With Smoked Salmon Risotto?
- Other Recipes Using Smoked Salmon
- Other Risotto Recipes To Try
- Recipe Card
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Why This Recipe Works
- Smoked Salmon and Spinach is a well-known combination that works well very much like in this Salmon and Spinach Pasta!
- Risotto can take quite a bit of flavour, and salty smoked salmon is a great way to add that flavour!
- Beautifully elegant and impressive enough for entertainment and any special occasion (just like this Squid Ink Seafood Risotto).
- But easy and quick enough for a weeknight.
- This rice dish works equally well with cold and hot smoked salmon fillets.
- There are many variations and extra veggies that you can add to this beautiful risotto! Try it as a Salmon and Pea Risotto or Salmon and Samphire Risotto.
- This Smoked Salmon Risotto works well as a starter and as a main course!
- Leftovers can either be reheated or made into Arancini Balls!
Ingredients and Substitutes
8 ingredients (plus optional cheese) for this salmon risotto recipe:
- brown onion: can be substituted with red onion or shallots.
- fresh garlic clove: can be substituted with shop-bought garlic paste.
- risotto rice: Arborio and Carnaroli rice work best.
- lemon: choose fresh juicy unwaxed lemons, as we will use both juice and zest.
- vegetable stock: can be replaced with seafood stock/broth if you wish. Chicken broth/ chicken stock will also work.
- spinach: or peas, asparagus or samphire (try it with samphire, if you can!)
- creme fraiche: can be replaced with sour cream or even a spoonful of cream cheese.
- parmesan: optional, as many people do not enjoy cheese with fish (not us 🙂 ).
- smoked salmon: cold or hot smoked salmon will work!
Fancy a little something extra? Try adding some fresh dill or other fresh herbs to this risotto.
What Other Vegetables Go With Smoked Salmon Risotto?
Whilst spinach is a great choice to complement the smoked salmon risotto, there are a few other green vegetables that work equally well (one of them we think works even better, but it’s not very widely used). Try this risotto with:
- Green peas, like petit pois or garden peas.
- Asparagus or asparagus tips. You can make our Risotto Verde (Pea & Asparagus Risotto) and add some smoked salmon to it! It’s delicious!
- Aaand – if you can, try this risotto with samphire! Salty green samphire goes so incredibly well with the smoked salmon, making it an ultimate seaside risotto! Honestly, it’s the best!
Can You Really Make Risotto Without Wine?
Absolutely! Whilst wine improved the depth of flavour of your risottos, this Smoked Salmon Risotto tastes great without it! But if you have one of the two ingredients below, add it to the recipe to give it a little lift, and recreate some of the flavours of the wine without the price tag attached:
- Add 2 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to your rice after toasting, before adding the stock.
- Add 1 tablespoon of white wine or cider vinegar to your stock.
If you insist on using wine, choose a dry white wine, like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.
What Is The Secret To Creamy Salmon Risotto?
We think there are FOUR main secrets to a good risotto. And the secrets lie with the rice and the stock!
- Rice for Risotto: Risotto rice needs to be short, starchy and able to withstand long cooking time. Some of the widely available varieties are Arborio and Carnaroli rice (and out of the two, we use Carnaroli for best results). Both types of short-grain rice are perfect for slow long cooking process, letting the rice infuse with all the flavours of stock without losing their shape.
- Toast the Rice: toasting the rice in a pan before adding any stock is an important step in any risotto preparation. The process seals the surface of the rice, helping it preserve its shape and retain the typical al dente texture that gives the final dish a slight chew.
- Keep the Stock Hot: Put your stock in a pan and keep it on low heat. This ensures an even cooking temperature. If your stock cools down, it will prolong the cooking time and your rice may become soggy in the process.
- Add Stock Little By Little: Not adding all the stock at the same time allows the rice to release its starch at a slow rate, making the risotto creamy. Another advantage of adding the stock gradually is being able to control how much of the stock is actually needed before the rice is cooked.
Heat 2 tbsps of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute on low heat for 5 minutes until softened.
Add the risotto rice and garlic, increase it to medium heat, stir and continue cooking for another minute until the rice turns slightly translucent.
Pour in the juice of half a lemon and stir the rice quickly.
Keep the stock hot on a low simmer.
One ladle at a time, start adding the stock and stir until all the stock is absorbed. Stir continuously. Constant stirring helps the rice release its starch, making risotto creamy. Add another ladle of stock and keep on cooking until you have no stock left or until your rice is almost cooked and your risotto has creamy texture. This should take about 20-30 minutes.
When the rice is cooked al dente, stir in the spinach. Taste and season with black pepper. Turn the heat off and cover the pan with a lid and leave the risotto for 5 minutes for the spinach to wilt. Shred half of the salmon into small pieces, and stir into the rice alongside the creme fraiche and parmesan. Divide risotto between bowls. Arrange the rest of the salmon on top of your creamy risotto and garnish with lemon zest and extra parmesan cheese.
No! Whilst many recipes call for rinsed rice to remove their starchy exterior, risotto benefits from that starch, as it makes the risotto creamy!
It may be that you cooked your risotto on a higher heat than we did, and more stock evaporated, rather than got absorbed into the rice. This is not a problem – simply taste your rice before dividing the risotto between bowls, and it if needs more cooking, add a splash of hot water and carry on until your rice is cooked to your liking (ideally, slightly al dente).
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge after the risotto has cooled to room temperature. Consume within two days. Ideally, you want to store your risotto before you add salmon to it. That way, you can quickly reheat your risotto in a microwave or in a pan with a splash of water, and add the salmon later.
We do not recommend freezing the Smoked Salmon and Lemon Risotto unless you freeze it before adding the salmon.
What Goes Well With Smoked Salmon Risotto?
Risotto is often served as a side dish or an appetizer in the US and Canada, however, in Europe, it is more likely that you will have it as a main course. And to no surprise, this Creamy Smoked Salmon Risotto is very filling and leaves nothing to be desired. If you would like to serve it with a side dish, here’s what we recommend:
- Raw Courgette Ribbon Salad with Honey & Earl Grey Dressing
- Fried Tenderstem Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon (Garlic Broccolini)
- A rocket and parmesan salad (recipe coming soon) or a simple green salad
- A glass of wine
Other Recipes Using Smoked Salmon
If you do enjoy a bit of smoked salmon for one of the luxurious meals of the day, maybe we can tempt you to try some of our favourite smoked salmon recipes:
- Smoked Salmon Canapes (on Sweet Corn Blinis)
- Smoked Salmon & Spinach Pasta
- Smoked Salmon Mezzaluna Pasta with Lemon Dill Butter
- Smoked Salmon And Spinach Eggs In Ramekins (Eggs en Cocotte)
Other Risotto Recipes To Try
- Spinach & Mushroom Risotto (Vegan)
- Sweet Chilli and Bell Pepper Risotto (Vegetarian)
- Prawn and Chorizo Risotto
Creamy Smoked Salmon Risotto
- 1 brown onion finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 160 g risotto rice
- ½ lemon juice and zest
- 700 ml vegetable stock hot
- 100 g spinach or 90g samphire
- 1 tablespoon creme fraiche
- 20 g parmesan optional
- 100 g smoked salmon
- Heat 2 tbsps of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and saute on low heat for 5 minutes until softened.
- Increase the heat to medium, add the risotto rice and garlic, stir and continue cooking for another minute until the rice turns slightly translucent.
- Pour in the juice of half a lemon and stir the rice quickly.
- One ladle at a time, start adding the stock and stir until all the stock is absorbed. Stir continuously. Add another ladle of stock and keep on cooking until you have no stock left or until your rice is almost cooked.
- When the rice is cooked al dente, stir in the spinach. Turn the heat off and cover the pan with a lid and leave the risotto for 5 minutes for the spinach to wilt. Shred half of the salmon into small pieces, and stir into the rice alongside the creme fraiche and parmesan.
- Divide the risotto between bowls. Arrange the rest of the salmon on top and garnish with lemon zest.