naturally gluten-free seafood risotto with roasted tomatoes, orange and fennel

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a happy and a healthy festive season. We, in the GFN household, had a fabulous time – lots of family, friends and food. My son, just shy of his second birthday, really “got” Christmas this year. It was lovely to see him fascinated by the Christmas tree, trying to see his reflection in the baubles and pointing to all the stars and lights. He also managed to grasp the concept of “presents” and had great fun ripping into the wrapping paper and playing with the toys and books he found inside.

I also did extremely well on the present front – the highlights including a Lakeland voucher (yippee!) and a library of cookery books, two of my favourites being Italian Home Baking by Gino D’Acampo and The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater. The first book is a cornucopia of tasty Italian baked goodies which are ripe for a gluten-free makeover (watch this space! I’ve already made Version 1.0 of his panettone classico…) The second book is a pure joy to read – a year of Nigel Slater’s life in his kitchen and garden and the recipes which came out of it.  I’ve almost finished it in about three sittings and I’m planning to go back to the beginning as soon as I’ve finished it to pick out some recipes to make. What I love about him is that he is not in the slightest bit cheffy or precious, he eats according to what’s in season (which I intend to do more of this year) and rustles up great recipes out of sometimes what is just left in his fridge or cupboard. This recipe has evolved out of my having been inspired by him. The cupboards were looking a bit bare last week and I remembered that I had a couple of sea bass fillets in the freezer. These were duly defrosted and we had them pan-fried with leftover roasted cherry tomatoes and basmati rice dressed with lemon, olive oil and fresh dill, left over from the smoked salmon pâté I made for a family lunch. This got me thinking of seafood risotto with roasted tomatoes and flavoured with orange and dill.

naturally gluten-free seafood risotto with roasted tomatoes, orange and fennel 2

Naturally gluten-free seafood risotto with roasted tomatoes, orange and dill

Serves 2 generously

250g baby plum tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 litre fish stock
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
175g Arborio risotto rice
125ml white wine
zest of half an orange, pared into strips with a potato peeler
225g mixed cooked seafood (I used king prawns, mussels and squid)
1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped

You will also need a non-stick roasting tin and a large frying pan (skillet).

Preheat the oven to 190°C (my oven is fan-assisted, so adjust accordingly). Slice the tomatoes in half lengthways, put them in a non-stick roasting tin, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Gently shake the tin so that the tomatoes are evenly coated and roast them in the oven for 30 minutes.

While the tomatoes are roasting, place the fish stock in a small saucepan and heat to simmering point over a gentle heat. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a low to medium flame and add the chopped onions. Fry for several minutes until softened, pale and translucent. Add the minced garlic and continue to fry gently for another couple of minutes. Add the rice and stir to thoroughly coat the grains with oil.

Pour in the wine and bring to the boil. Simmer gently, stirring all the while. When the wine has been absorbed by the rice, add a ladleful of the fish stock and the strips of orange zest. Gently stir until all the fish stock has been absorbed. a ladleful at a time, stirring until it has all been absorbed before adding the next. Before adding the final ladleful, fish out the strips of orange zest and discard. After adding the final ladleful, stir in the mixed seafood and half the chopped dill and gently fold in the roasted tomatoes. Stir gently until the stock has been absorbed and you are left with creamy and al dente rice. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve immediately, garnished with the remaining dill.