Mussel Risotto

When I think of risotto I always think of a dish that should be enjoyed with family so I prepared this for family visitors who came to visit our little girl! It’s delicious and so easy to prepare!

Again, on this post I am collaborating with Bord Bia to promote the use of mussels. They are so versatile and healthy to add to your diet and are an excellent source of protein and iron.

To create a creamy risotto, it is important to use the correct rice. Carnaroli, Arborio and risotto rice are the easiest to source and will all give you a great result.

Serves 4
Time: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS
1kg mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
100ml white wine
150ml cold water
2 tablesp. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
300g carnaroli/Arborio/risotto rice
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
A large pinch saffron strands, soaked in 1 tablesp. boiling water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
25g butter
1 tablesp. dill roughly chopped (reserve a few fronds to garnish)

To serve: A lightly dressed green salad

METHOD
Place the wine and 150ml cold water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, shaking the saucepan a few times until the mussels have opened. Drain the mussels and reserve the cooking liquid. Discard any mussels that have not opened.

Remove most of the mussels from their shells, reserving about 20 in their shells for the top of the cooked dish.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat.  Add the fennel and onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the rice to the onion and fennel mixture and stir to coat with oil. Add the garlic and saffron and stir well.

Measure the reserved cooking liquid and add enough water to bring it up to 900mls.  Start adding the liquid, a little at a time, while stirring all the time. Wait until each addition of liquid has evaporated before adding more. Keep going until all but a spoonful remains. Season to taste, then turn off the heat. Add the mussels and butter, stir, then cover with a lid for 5 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of cooking liquid, leaving any grit behind and fold in the chopped dill.

Divide the mussel risotto among 4 warmed bowls and top with the reserved mussels in their shells. Garnish with a few extra fronds of dill. Serve with a green salad.

*This post is an AD in collaboration with Bord Bia, for more recipe inspiration check out www.bordbia.ie/fish

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