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For the upcoming long weekend, author and food editor Phillippa Cheifitz has kindly shared her creamy mussel risotto recipe from her cookbook, Lazy Days, which was recently re-released. It is just what’s needed after a day of foraging on the rocks when the evening chill sets in.

Creamy mussel risotto



Serves four

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups fish stock
  • 1.5kg cleaned mussels
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and milled black pepper
  • 1 fat clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups risotto rice
  • 1 cup cream
  • Chopped parsley


Cooking method

In a wide saucepan, heat the wine and stock. Add the cleaned mussels, remembering to discard any that aren’t tightly closed. Simmer for a few minutes, just until they open. Remove with a slotted spoon as they open. Strain the stock and set aside the mussels.

In a wide pan, heat the butter and oil. Stir in the onion. Cook gently until softened but still pale. Stir in the garlic, then the rice. Stir in a ladleful of the reserved stock and stir until absorbed. Keep repeating this until all the stock has been used and the rice is tender but has the required bite. If necessary, add a little more stock.

It should take about 25 minutes. Heat the cream with the reserved mussels, then pour over the risotto. Check seasoning, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.


About the author

Phillippa Cheifitz has a long and illustrious history as an SA food editor and is the mistress of classy, effortless cooking. This revised edition of Lazy Days is a timeless collection of her recipes for picnics, light lunches, sundowners and the like, inspired by her downtime in Paternoster on the West Coast. R345 from Quivertree Publications.

Lazy Days cookbook

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