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pea and peppered mackerel risotto

despite my love of smoked mackerel i had never thought to put it in a risotto, preferring the cleaner flavours and texture of a pilaf. i gave it a try recently though, adding some peas from the garden, and the result was surprisingly good.


the creamy richness of the risotto balanced well with the peppery smoked fish, with the peas and lemon adding some freshness and stopping it being too rich. having said that, if you’re making this when the weather is a little chilly, it is a very comforting dish.


pea and peppered mackerel risotto (serves 2-3)


10g butter

15ml olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

250g risotto rice

150ml white wine

800ml vegetable stock, hot

a couple of handfuls of shelled peas

225g peppered mackerel, skin removed and flaked into bite size pieces

zest and juice of a lemon


melt the butter with the oil and fry the onions over a gentle heat until they begin to soften. add the rice, stir so it is glossy and then add the white wine. stir and simmer until the wine evaporates. add the stock a ladle at a time, stirring all the time and adding more as the rice absorbs the stock. when you have added half the stock add the peas and then continue. when you add the last ladle of stock stir in the mackerel, lemon zest and lemon juice so that the fish can heat through as the risotto finishes cooking. serve with a green salad.

Reader Comments (6)

Thanks for the inspiration. This is the kind of food we need now :)
July 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnh
I've just tried this, which has got to be one of your best yet. What a good way to enjoy fresh peas. Now I want to make it for everyone -- what a pity so many of the people I cook for are veggies!
July 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGill
thanks gill - that's a great compliment! i'm glad you liked it so much.

anh - i can really imagine it hitting the spot in the middle of winter!
July 26, 2009 | Registered Commenterabby
I liked it so much I made it again today -- with the rest of the peas from the market! I might even try it on my parents, who are rather old-fashioned eaters but are trying (on medical advice) to eat more oily fish. This might just work for them ...
July 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergill
Thanks v. much - this recipe allowed me to use some Peppered Mackerel to good result on the 'sell-by' date.
Could be the veg stock I used (Kallor organic cube) but it seemed to bring the saltiness of the mackerel out - not sure what I could add to reduce that.

Still, first time ever for making risotto and impressed with how easy you made it - thanks!!
(p.s. thanks for such a down-to-earh, non-pretentioius column - with ingredients that you don't have to hire Ranulph Fiennes to go off and find...)
August 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike
i've not tried that brand of stock cube mike, so can't comment but maybe this is a risotto best made with an unslated or weaker stock than usual.

i'm really glad you find the recipes relevant and accessible - this is the sort of stuff i cook every week so it's good to know i'm not the only one! congrats on cracking risotto though - it's wonderfully flexible!
August 24, 2009 | Registered Commenterabby

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