Saffron Risotto served with Fried Zucchini, Shrimp, Mussels, and Clams

Serves 4

Fried Zucchini

1 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise into paper-thin strips
Vegetable oil, for frying


6 cups fish or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallot
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
12 mussels, scrubbed
12 clams, scrubbed
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups seafood or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon


4 stems fresh thyme
4 stems fresh oregano
4 stems fresh rosemary
4 fresh chives
12 cherry tomatoes
Shaved parmesan cheese, to taste
For fried zucchini:

  • Heat oil in a large, deep pot until it shimmers. Working in batches of 3 or 4, gently drop zucchini strips into hot oil. Cook until crisp and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Keep warm.

For risotto:

  • Warm stock in a small saucepan over medium heat. Keep warm.
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; add onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add rice and toast lightly for 1 minute. Add wine and cook until almost completely absorbed. Add 1 cup stock and cook until it is mostly absorbed, stirring often. Continue adding stock, 1 cup at a time, simmering, stirring often, until almost all broth is absorbed before adding next cup. Add stock until rice is creamy and cooked through.
  • Stir in saffron threads and mascarpone; season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

For seafood:

  • Warm olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat; add shallot and garlic, cooking until softened and golden, about 2 minutes.
  • Add mussels, clams, and shrimp; stir to combine.
  • Add stock; cover, and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until shellfish has opened and shrimp are just cooked through.
  • Stir in tarragon. Keep warm.

For garnish:

Create 4 bundles of 1 stem each of thyme, oregano, and rosemary. Tie a chive around each bundle to secure.

To serve:

  • Gently fold seafood into risotto.
  • Divide risotto mixture evenly among 4 serving plates.
  • Top each serving with fried zucchini strips, 3 cherry tomatoes, an herb bundle, and shaved parmesan cheese.