Lindsey Bareham’s seafood risotto with thyme and saffron

A bag of frozen prepared, raw squid, prawns and tiny queen scallops is a useful thing to have in the freezer at this time of year. The seafood defrosts quickly and makes a lovely risotto, this one flavoured by thyme and saffron and finished with parsley.

Serves 2-4
Prep 15 min
Cook 35 min


  • 300g bag frozen plateau de fruits de mer (M&S)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 40g butter
  • 100g shallot
  • Sprig of thyme
  • Generous pinch saffron
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1 litre hot fish or light chicken stock
  • 25g flat leaf parsley

Tip the frozen seafood out onto two large plates or a tray, separating the pieces to defrost quickly. Once defrosted, dice the squid and run a small, sharp knife down the curl of the prawns and swipe away the black membrane. Pat the seafood dry with kitchen paper. Meanwhile, halve, peel and finely chop the shallot. Chop, then crush the garlic. Heat the oil in a spacious, lidded sauté/frying pan over a medium heat and stir in the garlic. Add the prawns, tossing as they change colour then scoop on to a plate.

Add the scallops and toss as they firm up, allowing no more than 30 seconds. Scoop onto the prawns. Add 25g butter then stir in the shallot with the thyme leaves and saffron, reducing the heat slightly and stirring as the shallot softens. Stir in the rice then add the wine. When sticky, add the hot stock one ladle at a time, stirring until absorbed and the rice is creamy with a bite at the centre. Fold in the seafood and juices, chopped parsley leaves and remaining butter. Cover and leave for five minutes before serving.