Mussel and leek risotto

Mussel and leek risotto

Nathan Outlaw's Home Kitchen
David Loftus

Mussels and leeks are good friends, and when you introduce white wine and a few herbs they start to party! Feel free to add other varieties of seafood, such as clams or prawns. This is a recipe you can easily scale up to feed a crowd.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg live mussels
250ml white wine, plus an extra 50ml to finish
1 litre * vegetable stock [rid:37736]
50ml olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
70g unsalted butter
2 large shallots, peeled and finely diced
2 large leeks, trimmed, washed and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
240g carnaroli risotto rice
50ml white wine vinegar
75g parmesan, freshly grated
1 lemon, grated zest
3 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped dill
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve


  1. Wash the mussels and pull away the hairy ‘beard’ from the shell. Discard any that are open and refuse to close when pinched back together, and any with damaged shells.
  2. Set a pan with a tight-fitting lid over a high heat. Set aside about half of the mussels. Add the rest to the hot pan with the wine, put the lid on and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Set a large colander over a bowl. Lift the pan lid and check that the shells are open. If not, replace the lid, cook for a further minute and check again. When the mussels have opened, tip the contents of the pan into the colander. Pick the meat from the shells and set aside.
  4. Pour the vegetable stock into a pan. Strain the mussel liquor from the bowl through a sieve and add to the stock. Heat to a simmer.
  5. Clean the mussel pan and place back over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter. When the butter begins to bubble, toss in the shallots and leeks and cook for 5–6 minutes until softened. Add the garlic followed by the rice and stir through. Cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat all the rice grains in oil and butter.
  6. Pour in the wine vinegar and cook, stirring until it has reduced right down. Now add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon. Cook for 12 minutes, allowing each ladleful of stock to be absorbed before you add the next.
  7. Now add the reserved mussels in their shells, with a little more stock and the 50ml white wine. Cook for 3 minutes until the shells open, then add the mussel meat, Parmesan, lemon zest and half of the chopped chives and dill. Remove from the heat and stir carefully for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Divide the risotto equally between 4 warmed bowls, scatter over the remaining herbs and finish with a good drizzle of olive oil. Serve with lemon wedges.
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