Cockles and mussels (both rated green in the Best Fish Guide) are affordable and sustainable seafood options. If you are gathering your own shellfish be sure to source it from areas with no risk of pollution as shellfish are filter feeders and can acquire toxins easily.
Ready in 40 mins
- 1.5kg Cockles or small mussels
- 1 cup White vermouth, white wine or water
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Thyme leaves
- 2 cups Risotto rice
- ½ cup White wine
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- A pinch of chilli flakes
- 4 cups Fish or chicken stock
- 3 tbsp Lemon juice
- ¼ cup Chopped parsley leaves
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Rinse shellfish and discard any that don’t snap shut when run under cold water or tapped. Place in a large pot with vermouth, wine or water, cover and cook until they just open (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool.
To make the risotto, melt butter in a large, heavy-based pot over medium-low heat and cook onion with thyme until softened but not browned (5-6 minutes). Add rice and stir over heat to coat in the buttery onion mix. Add wine and cook for another minute until evaporated. Stir in lemon zest, chilli flakes and stock, bring back to a simmer and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While rice is simmering, measure out 1 cup of shellfish cooking liquid. Remove shells from most of the shellfish, reserving a few in the half shell to garnish the dish.
Add the reserved cup of shellfish cooking liquid to the risotto and bring back to the boil. The rice should be tender but al dente–to test, crush a few grains with the back of a heavy knife. There should be only a pinhead of hard white core in the centre of each grain–any more and it needs to cook for another few minutes.
Add the shelled shellfish and bring the risotto back to a simmer. Stir in lemon juice and parsley, adjust seasonings to taste and serve topped with reserved shellfish in the half shell.
For more great Annabel Langbein recipes see annabel-langbein.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Annabel Langbein Media