Silverbeet risotto with scampi and crisp fried onions

Silverbeet risotto with scampi and crisp fried onions

Matt Harvey


Quantity Ingredient
60ml olive oil
1 small onion, quartered
400g vialone nano rice
60ml white wine
1 litre vegetable or good-quality chicken stock, simmering

Braised silverbeet

Quantity Ingredient
1 large bunch silverbeet
50ml olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly roasted
1 lemon, juiced
150ml white wine
100ml good-quality chicken stock or water
salt and pepper
100g butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
salt and pepper
12 scampi
1 tablespoon Golden spice mix

Crisp fried onions

Quantity Ingredient
2 1/2 onions, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoons salt
125ml olive oil
extra–virgin olive oil


  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Fry the onion for a few minutes to flavour the oil, then discard it. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil. Pour in the wine and let it bubble away until it evaporates. Next, ladle in enough simmering stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width. Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed.
  2. Add the same quantity of stock again, stirring from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed.
  3. Add a third amount of stock (making sure you reserve around 100 ml for the final stage), and when half of the liquid has been absorbed, add the Braised Silverbeet. Stir gently until all the stock is absorbed.
  4. Wash the silverbeet in several changes of water then slice out the stems, reserving them for another use. Shred the leaves roughly. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic until they start to soften. Meanwhile, use a mortar and pestle to crush the coriander seeds as finely as you can. Tip into a sieve to remove the husks.
  5. Add the coriander to the pan with the silverbeet, lemon juice, wine and stock. Season with salt and pepper, cover the pan and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time, remove the lid and raise the heat to allow some of the braising liquid to evaporate.
  6. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper. If you find that you need more liquid, add the final 100 ml of stock and stir until the butter has melted in. Cover the pot and allow to rest off the heat for a few minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  7. To butterfly the scampi, use a small, sharp knife to cut each one in half lengthways, through the underbelly, to the shell. Pull away the intestinal tract and then open the two halves out wide. Dust them all over lightly with the Golden Spice Mix and a little salt.
  8. Heat your grill or barbecue, or heat some oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Cook the scampi until they just turn red, turning once.
  9. Put the onions into a bowl and use your hands to break them up thoroughly. Sprinkle on the salt and toss through. Leave for 15 minutes. Rinse the onions well, then use your hands to squeeze out as much moisture as you can before drying the onions very thoroughly on kitchen paper. It is important that the onions are as dry as you can get them. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan. When it’s nearly smoking, add the onions and fry for 8–10 minutes. You’ll need to move them around the pan continuously, to ensure that they brown evenly and don’t burn. The onions will darken and caramelise to a deep golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and reserve.
  10. Divide the risotto between 4 bowls and stack 3 scampi on top of each. Sprinkle with the Crisp Fried Onions and a little extra-virgin olive oil.
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