Traditional recipes

Crab and leek risotto recipe

Crab and leek risotto recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Main course
  • Risotto
  • Seafood risotto

This crab and leek risotto is a quick and filling dish, with cleaned and ready brown and white Cornish crab.

Cornwall, England, UK

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 1 leek, sliced
  • knob of butter
  • 100g arborio rice
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • a glass white wine
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 1 pack Seafood & Eat It® fifty fifty
  • handful chopped parsley

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:25min

  1. Cook the leek in butter; when softened add the rice and a squeeze of lemon then stir well.
  2. Add the wine, a bit at a time, until absorbed in the rice.
  3. Slowly add the stock, then once absorbed, mix in the crab with a small knob of butter then top with some fresh parsley.

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Winter is for white – snow, sheepskins, lights. One of my favorite winter whites is the savory white of the dungeness crab, which comes into season just around the time the nights get longer and the fires get lit. Whip up this deceptively simple risotto for a charming post-holidays dinner party, adorning the table with paper whites and long ivory candlesticks, or bring two big bowls fireside with a throw blanket and a big, bold chardonnay for some rustic romance. Throw on some red lipstick – the hostess deserves to stand out! – serve with a simple winter greens salad, and prepare to indulge!



      6 cups water
        2 crab shells
          Leek remainder (see below)
              1 Bayleaf
                * can add Lobster Better than Boullion to enhance flavor


                  4 tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided
                    1 tbls. EVOO
                      ½ cup Shallot, minced
                        2 Leeks soaked and rinsed, white and green part only, finely chopped (save leaves for stock)
                          1 ¾ cups arborio rice
                            1 lb. Dungeness Crab – have your fishmonger de-shell for you, and save the shells for the stock

                          TO MAKE THE FISH STOCK:

                          Bring all ingredients to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes. Pour the broth through a sieve, pressing down on solids, then return only the liquid to the stove, keeping the broth at a simmer. Cut the asparagus into one-inch pieces and quickly blanche in the fish stock for 1-2 minutes, then immediately ladle asparagus out and set aside. Keep stock warm.

                          TO ASSEMBLE THE RISOTTO:

                          Melt one tablespoon butter and one tablespoon EVOO over medium heat. Add shallots, leeks, and garlic and sautee for two minutes. Add rice, and cook for two minutes stirring constantly, coating and toasting the rice. Add white wine, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Add warm broth, a half-cup at a time, continuously stirring until all of the liquid is incorporated and the risotto has adopted a creamy texture – this should take roughly 25 minutes.* Add remaining 3 tbls. butter, as well as the parmesan cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, asparagus, chili flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Finally, fold in the crab, spoon into dishes, and garnish with chives and a thin slice of lemon.

                          FISH STOCK PREP: 45 minutes.

                          TOTAL COOKING TIME: 25 minutes.

                          SERVES: 4

                          * Fish stock can be prepared in advance, or store bought. I like to add pre-made stock/lobster Better Than Bullion, but this is optional. You may not use all stock.

                          21 Best Risotto Recipes Ever

                          Risotto is the traditional Italian rice-based dish that everyone is crazy about. It can be the main course or a side dish. It’s not easy to make all because of the particular type of rice, but once you get it right, a whole world of taste and flavor opens up before you.

                          Want to make the best risotto? Here are 21 favorite variations for you. Enjoy!

                          Tomato-Basil and Spinach Risotto


                          Tomato Basil and Spinach Risotto is fresh and light. Perfect any time of year. See this article for the complete recipe.

                          Creamy Lobster Risotto


                          Check out a terrific recipe for Creamy Lobster Risotto. See the link for the cooking instructions.

                          Leek and Blue Cheese Risotto


                          For a comforting dinner try adding sweet leeks and blue cheese to a classic risotto recipe. Follow the article for the instructions.

                          Roasted Tomato Risotto


                          Check out a deliciously roasted tomato risotto. Follow the link for the complete recipe.

                          Instant Pot Pumpkin Risotto


                          This delicious pumpkin risotto recipe with sage is made in the Instant Pot and can be on the table in 30 minutes. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan. Follow the link for the cooking instructions.

                          Vegan Asparagus Risotto


                          This Vegan Asparagus Risotto is a healthy and easy spring dinner your whole family will love. Use fresh asparagus and peas for a lovely spring meal. Follow the link for the complete list of ingredients and instructions.

                          Mushroom Risotto


                          This mushroom risotto is a delightfully creamy, warm and comforting dish prepared with shiitake mushrooms and filled with lots of love and nurture. Follow this article for the complete instructions.

                          Vegan Risotto


                          Try a vegan risotto with this colorful carrot risotto recipe which uses a creamy carrot purée to add richness. See more Vegan recipes at Tesco Real Food. Follow the link for the list of ingredients and instructions.

                          Turmeric Leek Vegan Risotto


                          This Turmeric Leek Vegan Risotto is a great winter meal when your fridge is running low on ingredients! Gluten-free and Vegan. See this article for the cooking instructions.

                          Caprese Pesto Risotto


                          Caprese Pesto Risotto recipe. Creamy Parmesan cheese risotto mixed with basil pesto. Topped with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. Vegetarian and gluten-free. See the article for the complete cooking instructions.

                          Tomato and Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Risotto


                          What a delicious recipe for tomato and roasted Mediterranean vegetable risotto (vegan). See the link for the complete instructions.

                          Syn Free Butternut Squash Risotto


                          With Halloween upon us, and so much squash going spare, we thought we’d make this Syn Free Butternut Squash Risotto! Great with butternut squash or pumpkin. See the article for the complete cooking method.

                          Instant Pot Spinach and Goat Cheese Risotto


                          Risotto is an excellent rice recipe which can be cooked in a variety of styles. Here spinach and goat cheese are adding some exciting flavors to it. See the link for the recipe.

                          Gruyere-Pumpkin Ale Risotto


                          This creamy, comforting Gruyere-pumpkin ale risotto is the perfect fall meal. Serve it with or without bacon — it’s delicious both ways. See this link for the cooking instructions.

                          Instant Pot Chicken Risotto


                          Instant Pot Chicken Risotto is a hassle-free alternative to the original Italian stove-top version. No need to be standing by the pot, stirring constantly. See this link for the complete instructions.

                          Creamy Lemon Spinach Risotto


                          A delicious side, or the main meal – this creamy Lemon Spinach Risotto is packed with flavor and super easy to make. See the link for the cooking instructions.

                          Spinach Risotto


                          What a delicious recipe for spinach risotto. See this link for the instructions.

                          French Onion and Bacon Risotto


                          Conquer your fear of making risotto at home—it’s time. Sure, risotto fares a little on the fancy side, but it’s doable and more worth it than ever, thanks to this version filled with caramelized onions and topped with crispy bacon. See this article for the instructions.

                          Caramelized Onion and Tomato Risotto


                          This creamy vegan tomato risotto is bursting with sweet and savory flavors from juicy roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and a touch of thyme. See the link for the list of ingredients and instructions.

                          Risotto Carbonara


                          Risotto carbonara is the love child of a classic risotto and a traditional carbonara pasta dish. It mixes garlic, prosciutto, lots of parmesan cheese, peas, and one egg to make a silky smooth sauce. Follow the link for the complete list of ingredients and instructions.

                          Creamy Parmesan Risotto


                          This Creamy Parmesan Risotto is perfect as a first course or side dish or served with scallops or alongside a pan-seared steak or fish. See this article for the instructions.


                          Peel the prawns, reserving the shells for the stock. Set the prawns aside until needed. Wash the mussels, scrape them clean and pull out the beards. Open by placing in a pan with a splash of water, covering tightly then setting over a high heat until they have opened. Strain through a colander to remove any grit. Save the liquor for the stock. Remove the meats from all but 8 of the shells, discard the empty shells. Leaving a few whole mussels in the risotto makes it look very appetizing. Set the mussels aside until needed.

                          To make the stock, heat the oil in a large pan and add the garlic, carrot, celery, onion, leek and chilli. Fry for 5 minutes without colouring. Add the reserved prawn shells and cook for another couple of minutes then add the tomato, saffron, fish stock and mussel liquor. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes then push through a conical sieve with the back of a ladle to extract as much flavour as possible.

                          To make the risotto, melt the butter in a heavy-based pan (this will lessen the chance of the risotto burning on the bottom as it cooks) then add the shallots and garlic and sweat until softened. Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes until well-coated with butter. Pour in the wine. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat and let the rice absorb all the liquid. You can make the risotto to this stage some time before completing the dish. The final cooking time, about 20 minutes, is reduced to about 10 by doing this.

                          Return the pan to a medium heat and add the shellfish stock to the rice in three stages, allowing the liquid to be absorbed each time before adding the next amount. Stir continuously until the stock is almost completely absorbed.

                          When the rice is just tender but still firm to the bite (al dente), add the parmesan. (The small amount of stock left at this stage will be absorbed by the cheese.) While the risotto is cooking, brush the rest of the seafood with olive oil and grill for 3-4 minutes. To serve, carefully mix the seafood including the mussels into the risotto. Leave a few pieces on top to garnish.

                          Blue Crab Risotto with Cascabel Chiles

                          Bring crab stock to a simmer in a medium pot. Heat the olive oil in a wide shallow saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, and leek and cook until soft, but not browned, four to five minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Stir in rice and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly toasted, two to three minutes. Add wine and stir frequently until fully absorbed, one to two minutes. Add the stock, half a cup at a time, stirring frequently and waiting until liquid is absorbed before adding more. Continue this process for approximately 15 minutes. When rice is al dente (firm, not hard), add two tablespoons of the cream and stir until almost completely absorbed, about two minutes. Fold in the cold butter and a fourth of the crab meat.

                          Put the remaining two tablespoons of cream and chile powder in a small pan over medium-high heat and stir until the chile powder is incorporated. Add the remaining crab meat, chervil leaves, and 10 tarragon leaves reserved from the crab stock. Spoon the finished risotto onto a serving plate and spoon the chile cream over it. Garnish with a few fresh tarragon leaves reserved from crab stock. Sprinkle with the petite croutons.

                          For Crab Stock:

                          Preheat oven to 400ºF.
                          Spread crab shells on baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
                          Heat the canola oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, leek, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft but not brown, approximately three to four minutes. Add roasted crab shells, bay leaf, thyme, tarragon stems, lemon, peppercorns, and water. Increase to high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 1½ hours, skimming off any scum that may come to the top. Strain through a fine sieve, discard solids, and allow to cool.

                          For Petite Croutons:

                          Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Add the bread and toast it, stirring frequently, until golden brown. It will continue to brown when removed from the oil, so be careful not to overcook. Drain on paper towels.

                          Crab Risotto with Mascarpone

                          We have made two discoveries recently. The first is that Miss 4 adores crab meat and can’t eat enough of it. The second discovery is mascarpone which Miss 6 and I can’t stop eating! I was actually going to buy some mascarpone when I discovered a recipe for it in the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook. My husband and Miss 6 decided to have a go at making it together, and they said it was so simple to make. I recommend trying it! It’s even yummy spread on milk arrowroot biscuits as a quick snack, as a dip with celery sticks and added to your favourite pasta dishes for an extra creamy flavour.

                          If you have a go at making your own mascarpone, make it the day before you make this risotto. Otherwise you can buy it from the supermarket. We used 3 fresh blue swimmer crabs for this recipe. We had to hold Miss 4 back from pinching all the crab meat as they were shelled.

                          1 Leek
                          2 cloves garlic
                          40g butter
                          800g stock (I used 800g water + 3 heaped teaspoons (40g) homemade vegetable stock or I have also used 150g of the chicken stock from making Deli Chicken towards the 800mls of stock.)
                          1 teaspoon of citric acid
                          150g Vodka
                          370g Arborio rice
                          200 – 300g fresh cooked crab meat
                          1 tablespoon fresh (or dried) chopped chives
                          100g mascarpone
                          Salt to taste

                          Place garlic and leek into Thermomix bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 7.
                          Scrape down sides, add butter and sauté for 3 minutes, 100 degrees, reverse speed 1.
                          Place a mixing bowl on top of the lid of the Thermomix and measure the stock ingredients. Mix the citric acid into the stock and stir to dissolve, add vodka. Set aside.
                          Insert butterfly. Add rice and 50g of the stock and sauté for 2 minutes, 100 degrees, reverse speed 1.
                          Add the rest of the stock, cook for 16 minutes, 100 degrees, reverse, speed stir.
                          Add crab meat (if using dried chives, add now). Cook for another 2 minutes at 100 deg reverse, speed stir.
                          Add mascarpone (in small blobs), fresh chives, salt and mix on reverse speed 2 for 5 seconds.
                          Place in Thermoserver and let stand for approx. 10 minutes.

                          Notes: Keep a few nice pieces of crab aside to garnish to top of each plate.
                          When I make Deli Chicken, I always keep some of the stock and freeze it in my old baby advent containers to use some of it in my cooking for stocks and sauces.

                          BLUE SEA CRAB & PEA RISOTTO

                          Place the pea pods on a metal tray and use a blowtorch to char and scorch them. Transfer the pods into a saucepan, cover with olive oil and bring to 37 degrees. Remove from heat, transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth. Strain the oil through a muslin cloth, set over a bowl of iced water. Let the sediment settle to the bottom, then strain off the oil on top and reserve for later use.

                          Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, blanch the frozen peas for 3 minutes. Add peas to a blender with a little water, blitz adding more water if needed. Season with salt if needed and lemon juice. Pass and keep

                          Bisque sauce

                          Reduce the shellfish stock by half, add the double cream and reduce by quarter, taste and season if needed, keep aside

                          Add butter to a pan and place over a medium heat, add chopped shallots to the melted butter, chopped garlic, add the rice and mix in through the butter and shallot mixture, add white wine and cook gently until wine has reduce, add paddle at the time of shellfish stock until 3/4 cooked. Add mascarpone, pea puree, fresh peas to the pan and fold it all. Add fresh white crab meat, cold butter and taste, add couple pieces of cold butter and taste. Add grated parmesan off the stove.

                          In a bowl, spoon in the risotto, place the asparagus spears on top, a bit more crab meat, the sea herbs Moai caviar and drizzle the pea oil. Poor in the bisque sauce around the bowl.

                          Crab Recipes

                          Crab is the quintessential taste of the British shoreline and partners perfectly with leek in this tempting tart recipe. The rich brown meat is really important in this crab recipe in order to give the tart a crabby oomph of &hellip Read More

                          Crab and Pea Risotto with Basil

                          It’s mid May and the waters around South Devon have warmed up slightly after the cold winter. This is a simple, Springtime meal to satisfy those taste buds now that crab is back in season. The warmer waters mean that &hellip Read More

                          Crab Linguine with Chilli and Parsley

                          As every crab lover knows, the brown meat packs a far bigger punch of flavour than the white. What we love best about this crab recipe is that it uses the wonderfully rich brown crab meat as a highly flavoured &hellip Read More

                          Posh Crab Pasty

                          Oh my goodness, these are GOOD! Posh up your pasties this summer with this original recipe for crab filling. These are perfect for picnics (if you can wait that long) but we normally find ourselves eating them still warm from &hellip Read More

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                          Ricey secrets for the risotto lover

                          Stepping away from my Chinese approach to rice, such as cooking sticky and plump rice to match many of my mother's recipes, like braised pork, which needs rice to absorb its almost gravy-like sauce, I found myself in the heart of Northern Italy. Here, rice paddies glisten like crystals from afar and rice is king instead of pasta.

                          Last year, I was lucky enough to visit Novara in the Piedmont region of Italy where I met many passionate rice farmers. The technique used by some of these third- and some fifth-generation rice farmers is still old school. Farmers use wooden machines to process rice and they shake their hand-grown rice to produce an off-white coloured grain. Varieties of this rice include Carnaroli, Roma and Baldo.

                          Risotto is a dish many home cooks turn to for special dinners and even last-minute suppers. It's definitely a 'go-to' for many home cooks, but as someone who grew up watching countless TV chefs cooking risotto, it really seems like the technique and execution in many Aussie-taught risotto recipes have been lost in translation.

                          The phrases, "keep stirring the rice" and using "Arborio rice", are actually a bit erroneous, as I discovered when I visited Novara where more than 200 varieties of rice are cultivated.

                          Marta Grassi, a 1-Michelin star chef from Novara, told me during a cooking class that you don't need Arborio rice to make a good risotto. However, the pint-size chef who works hard to promote a regional Italian producer from her northern Italian region of Piedmont adds that you should use the Carnaroli variety.

                          The key to cooking a great risotto is using the best quality rice. Chef Alessandro Pavoni recommends an Italian carnaroli rice for the best texture. This is his recipe for crab risotto — a sensational seafood dish for you to serve next time you're entertaining.

                          Unfortunately, in Australia, Carnoli is rarely mentioned in risotto recipes. While it's a good alternative, Carnaroli has a higher starch content and is also firmer in texture which doesn't succumb to risotto's slow cooking process.

                          But at the end of the day, Grassi says you should use very high-quality rice, toast it and add the stock before letting it bubble away over a low flame.

                          The undisputed Godfather of Italian cooking in Australia, Guy Grossi, holds his risotto close to his heart. "My mum is from Verona and it is all the rage there," says Grossi during a recent cooking segment in which he made risotto di aspargi (asparagus risotto).

                          'All the rage' is perhaps putting it lightly. Locals from Verona love risotto and just south of Verona is Isola della Scalla, known as Citta del Riso, The City of Rice, because it has many rice fields in the region. Unsurprisingly, Verona has many different types of risotto — there's amarone (made with red wine) and radicchio de Verona (made with bitter radicchio leaves), as well as Grossi's asparagus risotto, to name a few.

                          Cristina Guidobono Cavalchini, the owner of Riso Buono, a small-scaled rice grower in Novara, Italy, remembers that she only ate rice when she was sick to cure an upset stomach. "I'm from Roma (Rome) and I never ate risotto when I was young. I only ate pasta from my region like carbonara and amatriciana. Rice was always boiled and eaten plain," says Cristina. "I ate real risotto, like real risotto for the first time at 35."

                          But when she found herself in Novara, after she was married and had moved to an old farmhouse on her husband's land, she decided to turn her risotto curiosity into a business.

                          "My palate was very clean. I never ate risotto and so I didn’t have any memories of eating risotto, but I was inspired by the region's landscape and soil and so I was determined to promote a high-quality ingredient to 'show off' our region," says Cristina.

                          Cristina spent years researching rice cultivation and eating a lot of risotto dishes in between, and has concluded that less is more. "My favourite recipes are the simplest ones, just rice, parmesan cheese and olive oil. That's it."

                          She continues, "If it is good rice, you will have the smell of nature — its terroir — so you don't need to add anything complicated. But since I am now in Novara, I will of course add gorgonzola (cheese from the region), sage and some butter – that's it!"

                          "If it is good rice, you will have the smell of nature — its terroir — so you don't need to add anything complicated."

                          Chef Simone Cantafio, who's currently based in Calabria in southwest Italy, says that risotto is his favourite dish. "I remember my mother in her kitchen making risotto and it was simply delicious, with delicate flavours and super tasty. It was a must on Sunday for our family lunches."

                          When asked about the secret to making a great risotto, the chef was happy to share his know-how, which was passed down from his mother and also one of his mentors, master chef Gualtiero Marchesi. "There needs to be a balance of fat and acid in the risotto and your aim is to get 'mantecatura', which loosely translated means a creamy risotto."

                          Risotto with spring peas and prawns

                          He continues, "The key to a great risotto is to start with the best ingredients, I prefer carnaroli and I always work with a less strong stock. It is all about the rice which absorbs all the taste and flavour. Other important steps include 'tostatura', which means to toast the rice in butter. When the grain begins to become hot, you will hear the rice 'sing' and that is when I add the stock — little by little," says the chef.

                          "The key to a great risotto is to start with the best ingredients."

                          To finish, take the risotto off the heat when it is 99 per cent cooked, says Simone. This is one of the most important steps. "Add parmesan grated cheese and really cold butter to shock the temperature — this will give you the 'matecatura' you are looking for. And be sure to give it at least half a minute of rest and be sure to serve it really hot.''

                          For Melbourne-based head chef Andrea Rigodanza, risotto is one of his favourite dishes and regularly features at his restaurant.

                          "I come from northeast Italy where risotto is a very popular dish," Rigodanza says. "We have very cold winters and risotto is perfect for that kind of weather. My dad used to cook it for us every time he had his day off, he couldn't cook many dishes [at home] because he owned his own restaurant and was always busy, but the risotto was one of my favourites and where I learned the best way to make it."


                          Trim, wash, and slice 1 medium leek. Completely shell and devein 1 pound medium shrimp cut them in half crosswise. Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Scatter the leek over the oil and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Increase the heat under the pan to high, toss in the shrimp, and cook, stirring constantly, until bright pink and seared on all sides, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat set aside. Prepare the basic risotto, stirring leek and shrimp into the rice in the last 2 minutes of cooking.