Zested Salmon with Lemon Risotto

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There comes a time when even the most committed Pudding Person craves something springy and zingy.  And here it is:  vegetable risotto with the tiniest hint of lemon and a good, healthy salmon fillet on the side.  What’ll be next?  Twice weekly Pilates or a jog around the block?

Peel and slice 4 shallots, and soften them in butter with one chopped celery stick and a finely diced carrot.  You want a non-stick, lidded frying pan for this.  Add some salt.  After a couple of minutes, add about 10 small mushrooms, quartered, and a chopped courgette.  Fry gently for another 5 minutes before turning the heat to minimum and stirring in 100g arborio rice.  Add a glass of white wine or marsala, and stir until all of the wine has been absorbed.

Make up a pint of vegetable stock (2 teaspoons marigold powder is fine) and cut 3 florets of broccoli into bitesize pieces.  Slice the stalks.  Pour half a pint of the stock into the rice and add the broccoli.  Stir well, then pop a lid on and set the timer to 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, prepare your salmon fillets by grating over the zest of half a lemon and sprinkling on some tarragon and salt and pepper.  Turn over in some olive oil and set aside.

When the timer has beeped, check your risotto.  A little taste should tell you that it’s about 8-10 minutes away from being perfect.  Add about a quarter of a pint of the remaining stock, and stir well.  Wait a couple of minutes, then fry your salmon in a separate pan (along with the oil from the marinade) on high for about 2 minutes.  Turn over carefully until the flip side is golden and crispy too.  Put to one side while you finish off the risotto.  Check first that the rice is as you like it.

Add about 4 tiny knobs of butter to the risotto with a small amount of freshly grated parmesan (about half a tablespoon).  Stir in the zest of half a lemon and some fresh parsley.  Check the seasoning.  Use a potato peeler to make some parmesan shavings.

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