Oyster Risotto with Deep Fried Gutweed by John Wright

Serves 6 as a starter


For the Oysters:

  • 6 large oysters, shucked, juices reserved
  • 20g unsalted butter


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks, white part only, trimmed

and finely chopped

  • 1 small onion,

peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 garlic clove,

peeled and finely chopped

  • 150g arborio or other risotto rice
  • 1 small glass of white wine
  • 500ml hot fish stock
  • 1-2 tbsp wild fennel fronds finely chopped (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Sunflower or groundnut oil for deep-frying
  • A small handful of gutweed, well rinsed and patted dry

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large,
heavy-bottomed frying pan over a
medium-low heat.
2. Add the leeks and onion and sweat
gently for about 10 mins until softened.
Add the garlic and cook for another
2 minutes.
3. Add the rice to coat in the buttery oil, add
the wine and bring to a gentle simmer.
4. Cook while stirring, until most of the
liquid is absorbed.
5. Start adding one ladleful of fish stock
at a time, making sure each ladleful is
almost completely absorbed before
adding the next one.
6. Add the reserved oyster juice. (If you find
you are running out of stock before the
rice is cooked, just add some boiling
water). The final result should be smooth
and creamy with the rice still al dente.
7. Stir in the fennel.
8. Prepare the Gutweed by heating an 8cm
depth of oil in a deep saucepan to 180º
(until a cube of stale white bread dropped
in turns golden within a minute).
9. Deep-fry the gutweed in batches:
carefully lower into the pan using tongs
and fry for 4 – 6 seconds only, then
remove with a slotted spoon and place
on kitchen paper to drain while you
deep-fry the rest.
10. Melt some butter in a heavy non-stick
pan and sauté the oysters until nicely
11. Check the seasoning of the risotto and
divide between warmed plates
or individual ramekins.
12. Arrange an oyster on each one and
sprinkle on the fried gutweed.

Serve Immediately