Prawn risotto with bacon, chive gremolata

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You may be tempted to skip making the gremolata, but don’t. It really makes the dish by adding a nice crunch from the bacon and bright notes from the herbs and lemon. This is a delicious, light risotto that’s perfect for transitioning into spring, or at least what we hope will soon be spring.  Since making the risotto takes all your attention, there’s really no multi-tasking allowed, which means that I used the time the stock was cooking to make the gremolata and my salad. That way when the risotto was done, we were ready to eat right away.

Serves 4
(Adapted from Cuisine at Home)
One hour

For the shrimp stock:
1 lb medium shrimp in their shells
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped leek tops
9 whole peppercorns
4 fresh parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves

For the risotto:
1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped leeks
1 cup arborio rice
3/4 cup dry sherry or white wine
1 cup frozen peas
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the gremolata:
3 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp minced garlic

-Peel and devein the prawns, leaving the tails on for presentation or taking them off for ease of eating (I always have this debate with myself when making prawn dishes! This time, I left just the tiniest bit of tail on so they’d look nice, but not be too messy to eat.) Put the prawns in a bowl and squeeze the 1/2 lemon over them. Add the 1 clove chopped garlic and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir to combine and set aside. Put the shells and remaining stock ingredients into a pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Strain stock through a sieve into a bowl, discard solids and return stock to pan over low heat.
-While stock is cooking, make gremolata by putting the 1 tbsp butter in a skillet. When butter foams, add bacon and saute until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. When cool, combine bacon with chives, parsley, lemon zest, garlic and salt. Set aside.
-Melt 2 tbsp butter in a Dutch oven or large saute pan over medium heat.  Add leeks and salt and saute gently for 2-4 minutes until translucent but not brown. Stir in rice and saute for 2 minutes or so, until rice grains look clear on their edges.
-Turn heat to medium high heat and add sherry or wine, stirring constantly until liquid is mostly evaporated. Add the cayenne pepper and nutmeg and about 1/2 cup stock and stir until absorbed. Continue adding stock in this manner until rice is tender and stock is mostly or all used up, 20-25 minutes.


-Stir in peas and shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink and firm, about 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt or pepper and needed. Remove from heat and stir in butter and Parmesan. Cover and let sit for 2-5 minutes to allow risotto to rest and flavors to meld.
Serve by topping each serving with a tbsp or so of the gremolata.

gretta (136 Posts)


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