Creamy Italian risotto with chunky pieces of haddock and fragrant fresh rosemary
Haddock risotto is my new favourite way to serve fish. If you're looking for a way to keep fish interesting, especially haddock, then look no further!
Cooking is definitely the cure for everything that I may ever complain about. Particularly when I've just been inspired by a wonderful trip to Italy and even if my latest complaint is that I am no longer amongst the perfect lines of cypress trees and gorgeous rolling hills of the Italian Countryside. We really do love the Italian countryside and so there is a lot of holiday blues going on in our house at the moment. So what better way to ease us out of Italy and back to the normal routine than to recreate some of the amazing food we were lucky enough to devour whilst we were there? RISOTTO!!
This dish is straight from the heart of Northern Italy, with the exception that my version uses haddock and not trout fillets that are local to the shores of Lake Como. Trout from Lake Como is certainly a show stopper and I would urge you to try it should you ever be in this part of the world, however, a couple of fillets of haddock also work amazingly well in this dish. Plus it’s not an expensive piece of fish, so this lovely, warming risotto is a good option to use for a cheap, mid-week dinner.
For other ideas for cooking with haddock check out my haddock dauphinoise with Cypriot potatoes and my fish pie.
As well as it being one of the more memorable meals I've had in Italy I also found that reproducing this risotto at home was also quite simple. The risotto itself is just: risotto rice, finely chopped onion, white wine, chopped fresh rosemary, lemon juice and water. I baked the haddock separately then flaked and mixed in. I also served this with a side of green veggies just to give a boost of vitamins and minerals and of course to add a splash of colour.
This dish really provides the best welcome home after a long day and fills the house with the warming scent of rosemary. I love the way the risotto grains cling to the meaty chunks of fish and in every mouth full you can taste the full combination of ingredients….it’s just divine. Extra wedges of lemon and fresh Parmesan to serve really finishes off the dish nicely and I can assure you there will clean plates all around.
Aromatic Haddock and Rosemary Risotto
- 2 fillets of un-smoked skinless haddock
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Half onion finely chopped
- 200 g risotto rice
- 200 ml white wine
- 1 lemon
- Water boiled in the kettle to add as required
- Handful of fresh rosemary with leaves removed from the stem and finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to season
- Parmesan and your choice of green veggies tender stem broccoli and mange tout to serve
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan). Place the haddock in the centre of a piece of foil, drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season. Loosely wrap the foil around the fish, place on a tray and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes or until just cooked (firm to the touch and solid white colour). Remove from the oven and leave wrapped in the foil to keep warm and to allow the cooking process to continue.
- To make the risotto heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in large frying pan or wok. Turn the heat to medium-low and gently cook the onion until just see-through. Add the risotto rice and stir well ensuring all the grains are coated with olive oil, add more oil if required. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the wine, stir and bring to a simmer. The rice will absorb the wine quite quickly, so keep an eye on this. Once the wine has been absorbed; squeeze in the juice from half a lemon and add hot water from the kettle to just cover the rice. Bring to a simmer and then cover with a lid.
- Check and stir the risotto every 5 minutes. The rice will continue to absorb the liquid and become stickier. When liquid has almost disappeared, top-up the risotto with more water from the kettle. Repeat this until the rice is cooked. Risotto rice should be al dente, so keep tasting the rice until you are happy with the texture.
- Whilst you are cooking the risotto the green veggies can also be prepared, which I served up as a side dish: Bring a small frying pan of water to the boil then simmer and add the vegetables. Once cooked; plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process. When ready to serve, return to the pan of simmering water and heat for 1 minute. To give the veggies a slight shine add a drizzle of olive oil to the water, then drain and serve.
- I like my risotto to have a pourable consistency, so once cooked; I usually remove from the heat and stir in a splash more water to loosen up the rice. Once you are happy with your consistency, season with salt to taste and then stir in the rosemary. Pop the lid back on the risotto to keep it warm.
- To finish the risotto: Unwrap the fish, check it is cooked through and then use a knife and fork to gently flake each fillet into chunks. I went for quite small chunks but these can be larger if you prefer. Add the fish to the risotto and gently stir in.
- Serve the Haddock and rosemary risotto along with extra wedges of lemon, parmesan and green veggies