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Shrimp and Samphire Risotto


  • 750g/1½lb unpeeled cooked pink shrimps or North Atlantic prawns

  • 100g/4oz samphire, picked over and washed

  • 75g/3oz unsalted butter

  • ½ onion, chopped

  • 1.2l/2 pint fish stock

  • 1 piece of blade mace

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 350g/12oz risotto rice

  • 120ml/4fl oz dry white wine

  • 25g/1oz parmesan cheese, freshly grated

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Peel the shrimps and set them aside, reserving the shells. Break off and discard the woody ends of the samphire and break the rest into 2.5cm/1in pieces.

  • 2.

    Melt 25g/1oz of the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Add the shrimp shells and fry for 3-4 minutes, then add the stock and mace and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Pass the stock through a conical sieve into a clean pan, pressing out as much liquid as you can with the back of a ladle. Bring back to a simmer and keep hot over a low heat.

  • 3.

    Melt the rest of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and garlic and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and turn it over until all the grains are coated in the butter. Pour in the wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until it has been absorbed. Then add a ladleful of the hot stock and stir until it has all been taken up before adding another. Continue like this for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly, until all the stock has been used and the rice is tender but still a little al dente.

  • 4.

    Shortly before the risotto is ready, drop the samphire into a pan of boiling water and cook for 1 minute, then drain well. Stir the shrimps, parmesan cheese and some seasoning into the risotto. Heat for 1 minute, then stir in all but a handful of the samphire. Divide the risotto between 4 warmed bowls and serve, garnished with the rest of the samphire.

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