Seafood risotto paired with a peated single malt

Seafood dishes are ideal in summer. You don’t feel confident to prepare a risotto, fearing to end with a cloying and heavy rice mess? If you are able to stand 15 minutes in front of your cooker, you can’t miss my seafood risotto. Come on, give it a try and let me know!

Seafood (scallops, langoustines and mussels) risotto

Serves 6

12 langoustines

12 scallops

500 g mussels

1 liter of shellfish stock (made with the langoustines heads, a carrot, onion, celery branch, spices etc..)

450 g Arborio rice

1 shallot chopped

70 g butter

1 tbsp good olive oil

1 good glass of good white wine (100 ml)

5 tbsp grated parmesan

Some greens (brocoli, asparagus)

Juice and zest of one lemon

1 tsp grated ginger

Salt, pepper


1  Warm the stock.  Marinate the scallops with the juice and zest of a lemon and the grated ginger. Place the mussels in a pan and heat a few minutes until all the mussels are open. Shell them. Sieve the cooking juice and add it to the stock.

2  In a pan melt the butter with the oil and add the onion. Cook it slowly until blonde. Add the rice, stir for one minute or two. Add the wine, take the gas to low heat.

3  Add 2 ladles of stock. Stir continuously. When the rice has absorbed the liquid, add another ladle and carry on slowly. Keep stirring. Season (salt/Pepper). Cooking risotto is a slow process which requires patience !

4  The rice starts becoming creamy. Add the blanched vegetables. Carry on stirring. Taste the rice. When it is creamy but still a little al dente, it is done. Add ¾ of the parmesan. Stir. Check the seasoning. Keep warm at very low heat.

5  In a pan melt the butter, sauté the langoustines and the scallops (just one minute on each side). Add the mussels so that they are warm but they must not cook more.

6  Place on warm plates. Add a little piece of butter. Sprinkle with the rest of parmesan. Place the seafood on the top. Decorate with a sprig of chervil or basil.


That flavoursome dish calls for a complex whisky. Which does not mean an old and expensive one. But a whisky which will display layers of aromas and reveal an assertive character. Caol Ila 12 Year Old is my favourite for this pairing. The dish and the drink both “understand” each other’s intricacies.

Here are my tasting notes for Caol Ila.

Caol Ila 12 Years Old – 43%

Phenolic with a good dose of creosote. Perfumy, oily. Vanilla mingles with tangerine juice and olive oil. On the palate citrus fruit with a touch of cold ashes. The finish fades away on a smoked almond note.


Stepping into a boat garage sheltering freshly tarred boats.


Nibbling green olives in a flower garden by the sea.

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