The floral and earthy flavour of saffron-infused risotto rice, complements the delicate caper and almond pesto salmon.The addition of capers in the risotto itself adds a welcome bite to the light flavour profile, producing a delicious, well balanced dish. Pair with a glass of Izadi Blanco Rioja as a refreshing accompaniment.

Serves 2

2 portions Akaroa fresh salmon
2 Tbsp Sabato caper and almond pesto
2 Tbsp breadcrumbs
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus extra if needed
1 pinch Gohar saffron
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
½ onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup Ferron risotto rice
100ml white wine, at room temperature
Sal de Añana salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp Pons capers in brine
50g butter (optional) or more stock
Parmigiano-Reggiano
, freshly grated
Juice of half a lemon
Lemon basil, to garnish (optional)
 
Place a baking tray in the oven and preheat to 180°C.
 
Optional: for a crispy skin garnish, remove skin gently from the salmon, lightly sprinkle with salt and set aside. If skipping this step, leave skin on the salmon.
 
Place salmon skin-side down on a piece of parchment paper and spread 1 Tbsp of pesto on each portion. Top with a fine layer of breadcrumbs and set aside.
 
For the risotto, heat stock in a heavy-based pot with a pinch of saffron. In a heavy-based saucepan, heat a little EVO and sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add rice and stir continuously for about 3 minutes. Add wine, then allow to evaporate. Add capers and hot stock, stir gently, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on a low simmer for about 15-17 minutes.

While the risotto is cooking, slide the salmon and salmon skin (if using) onto pre-heated baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes or until just cooked through and the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp on top. Flip the salmon skin halfway through cooking time to cook on both sides.

Once the risotto has cooked, add butter, lemon juice and a generous handful of grated Parmigiano. Stir risotto off the heat (mantecare) to release the natural starches, for a creamy texture. If you desire a creamier consistency, or the stock has boiled away too soon because your heat has been a little too high, add an extra splash of boiling water or stock. For a dairy-free risotto, replace the butter with more stock and omit the Parmigiano.

Season and rest for a few minutes, allowing the flavours to develop. Plate the risotto and top with baked salmon. Serve garnished with fresh lemon basil and crispy skin.

This recipe can be readily scaled up if desired.

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