30 min salmon, fennel and pea risotto

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This salmon, fennel and pea risotto is fresh and lovely and best of all it is made in one pot and ready in 30 mins.  I was inspired to try it when watching Mary Berry on TV, but instead of using rice I used orzo.  Orzo is pasta that is the same size and shape as rice but cooks more quickly.  You can buy it in big supermarkets and international shops.

The fresh flavours of the fennel, peas and lemon juice combined with the salmon and the creamy orzo and creme fraiche is deeply satisfying and perfect for spring (I saw some blossom today so it is definitely spring).  For an alternative and very popular orzo dish check out this orzo and courgette bake recipe https://katielovescooking.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/orzo-and-courgette-bake-20-mins-prep30-mins-cooking/.

Salmon, fennel and pea risotto (serves 4)

1 small fennel, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

200g orzo pasta

Vegetable stock (I like OXO as it crumbles easily)

Large handful peas

250g salmon fillets, chopped in to chunks

1 tbsp creme fraiche

1/2 small lemon

Small handful fresh parsley and/or fresh tarragon, finely chopped (or just use 1 tsp dried herbs)

Handful parmesan

Pour some oil into a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the fennel and fry for about 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring often. Add the garlic and orzo and fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the orzo is coated in the oil.
Pour in some vegetable stock (made using hot water from a kettle and a stock cube), enough to just cover the mixture. Simmer and keep adding a little more stock and stirring regularly, so the orzo gradually absorbs the water. Wait until the stock is almost fully absorbed before adding more. Do this for around for 15–20 minutes, until the orzo is moist and very nearly cooked.  Add the peas, juice of the lemon, salmon slices, creme fraiche, herbs and parmesan.  Keep stirring until the salmon is cooked through, about 7 mins.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately, sprinkled with extra parmesan if you fancy.

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