- 500 g fresh mussels, cleaned
- 1 cup white wine
- fish, chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 bulb fennel (or 1 bunch leeks), finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 T butter
- 300 g risotto rice
- 1⁄2 cup cream
- 1–2 T fennel fronds or dill, chopped, plus extra to garnish
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1–2 T lemon juice (optional)
- Ingredients aren't specified.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Heat the tightly closed mussels and wine in a large saucepan and cover. Leave for a few minutes, then check. Remove the opened mussels, cover again and give the rest a little longer. Discard any that stubbornly refuse to open. Set aside. Measure the liquid and add enough stock to make 3 cups.
Gently soften the fennel (or leeks) and 1 clove garlic in the oil and butter in a suitable heatproof casserole. Do not allow to colour. Stir in the rice until well coated, then pour in the stock. Bring to a bubble, cover tightly and bake for 25 minutes.
Reheat the mussels with the cream, remaining garlic and fennel fronds or dill.
Uncover the risotto and spoon over the mussels. Turn off the oven, cover the mussels again and leave in the oven for 5 minutes. Season to taste.
If you think it needs it, add a spoonful or two of lemon juice. Garnish with torn fennel fronds before serving.
Cook's note: It may not be the ‘real deal’ – no standing and stirring required – but I don’t know any cook who isn’t above a little cheating in the kitchen. Always remember: the better the stock, the better the risotto.