I think Isle of Skye in Scotland is one of the most beautiful places on earth. When I die and go to heaven, I’ll bet it looks just like Skye. This recipe is inspired by a similar dish served at the Sea Breezes Restaurant in Portree on Skye.
You can make this dish in 30 minutes. Think about that: In the amount of time it takes to make a frozen dinner, you could make this. There are no exotic ingredients in this dish. Everything can be found in your neighborhood supermarket. I confess though that I buy my salmon at Costco. The fishmonger shows up every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with sides of salmon that look almost too beautiful to eat. The skin has already been removed, as well as most of the pin bones. For the mushrooms, I use a few tenths of an ounce of dried morel and porcini mushrooms available at almost any supermarket. You could use fresh button mushrooms, but I like the morels and the porcini for the earthiness they bring to the dish.
Ingredients for the Risotto:
- 1/4 cup Arborio rice per serving
- 1/2 white wine
- a few dried mushrooms
- 4 Cups reduced sodium chicken stock
- 1 Cup grated parmigiano reggiano
Ingredients for the Salmon:
- 1 Salmon filet per serving
- 1 Tomato
- 1 Basil leaf per serving
- 1-2 Tablespoons pesto per serving
Preheat the oven to 350F. Slice the tomato, then cut each slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces.
Prepare the mushrooms
Place the dried mushrooms into simmering water and let them simmer for about 20 minutes. Place a srainer over a small bowl. When the mushrooms are done, pour the mushrooms and their liquid into the strainer. The strainer will trap the mushrooms and the ‘mushroom water’ will pass through to the bowl underneath. Reserve the mushroom water and keep it warm. Let the mushrooms cool a bit and then finely chop them.
Prepare the Risotto
Pour the chicken stock into a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
Add some oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the arborio rice. Stir the rice almost continually. When the edges of the rice grains turn translucent add the wine. Stir frequently. When the rice has absorbed most of the wine, ad a ladle-full of the mushroom water. Stir frequently. Repeat this process. When the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add more mushroom water. When you run out of mushroom water switch to the chicken stock. Remember to stir frequently.
When the rice is close to being done, add the cheese and chopped mushrooms. If the risotto gets done before the salmon then just keep the risotto warm.
Prepare the Salmon
Pat the salmon filets dry. Lightly salt and pepper them. Put a fry pan on the stove over high heat. Add a high-smoke-point oil to the pan such as Safflower, peanut, or canola. When the oil just starts to smoke put the salmon in the pan. Let it cook undisturbed for no more than a minute, then flip it over. Let it cook again for no more than a minute, then place the fry pan (with the salmon) in the oven for 3-4 minutes. The salmon is ready then to serve.
Place a spoonful of the risotto on the plate. Place a salmon filet on top of the risotto. Sprinkle tomato and basil on top of the salmon. Place some pesto on top of the salmon. Serve.