Smoked Haddock and Leek Risotto

This is one of our favourite risottos. Teamed up with some undyed smoked haddock, the leeks replace the onions in a more normal risotto. Traditionally, the Italians do not add parmesan to fish/seafood risottos but if you feel the need, please go ahead.

I prefer Carnaroli rice over Arborio, or Vialone Nano if you can find it.


serves: 2
preparation time: 10 mins
cooking time: 35 mins


  • 75g butter
  • 2 leeks, trimmed with some green
  • small wineglass dry vermouth
  • 400g undyed smoked haddock fillet
  • 150g risotto rice
  • 500ml hot fish stock
  • 10g fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Salt & pepper


Get ready. Quarter the leeks lengthwise and slice them crosswise about 0.5 cm thick. Skin the haddock fillet and cut it into 2 cm chunks.

Now follow standard risotto procedure. Melt the butter over medium heat and sweat the chopped leeks for about 5 mins, stirring frequently, without letting them colour. When nicely softened, toss in the rice and, stirring constantly, cook the rice for about 3 mins to absorb some flavour and let the grains begin to turn translucent around the edges.

Now dump in the glass of vermouth and let the alcohol evaporate. Stirring constantly, allow the vermouth to be absorbed before adding your first quarter of the fish stock. Lower the heat so that the liquid simmers very gently. Assuming your homemade fish stock is unseasoned, add a little salt and pepper with each addition of stock, though be careful with the salt because of the smoked fish. Sir occasionally to extract some starch. As the liquid nears absorbtion, add a further quarter of the stock, with a little more seasoning, and repeat until you need the final quarter.

Once the last quarter of stock is added, stir in the haddock pieces and continue simmering until most of the liquid is absorbed. The finished risotto should remain quite moist. Stir in the parsley, taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

If you want cheese, grate it and stir it in now. Cover the pan and let the risotto sit for 2 or 3 mins before serving.

Get a pdf version of this recipe.

Posted in Starters

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