Smoked Salmon and Spinach Risotto, Update? Opinion needed again

No update this week.

Mon mari is lazing around watching old movies again.

He had surgery on a pinched nerve (other arm) last week.

To be nice to the invalid I made a favorite risotto on his least favorite day (fish hell day – I have mentioned that he’s not fond of fish, haven’t I?).

He is rather fond of smoked salmon.

See below for new opinion request.

Smoked Salmon and Spinach Risotto

Total time: 30 minutes   


  • 2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)

  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) dry, white wine
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbs (17oz, 530ml) chicken stock
  • 2 tsp dried chives
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup (1.5oz, 45gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
  • Condimenti
  • 6oz (175gr) smoked salmon
  • 3oz (90gr) chevre, goat cheese (the creamy kind in the little square carton, in Europe it’s Chevraux, in the U.S. Chavrie)

  • 3oz (90gr) fresh spinach

Salmon and Spinach Risotto


  • Heat chicken stock, tarragon and chives in medium saucepan.  Keep hot over low heat.
  • Finely chop onion.
  • In medium sauce pan heat oil; add onion and sauté 5 minutes, until starting to get tender.
  • Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center.
  • Add white wine and stir.
  • When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock and stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.)
  • When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring. Before the last 1/4 cup is added taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it 1/8 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed.
  • At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – it will not hold it’s shape on a plate. 

  • Add the Condimenti, Parmesan and stir well.
  • Condimenti
  • Slice smoked salmon into strips. 
  • Slice spinach into thick strips.
  • To Finish: 
  • Vigorously stir in the goat cheese and spinach, and heat through.  Add the smoked salmon and Parmesan, stirring well to combine. 

Note: If you cook it until it’s stiff it will be dry, not creamy. It will continue to absorb liquid and by the time you pour the wine it will be perfect!  The risottos that we have eaten in northern Italy have all been served in soup plates (flattish bowls) and eaten with a spoon – not a fork.

On another note….

We give the dogs (puppies no longer) empty peanut butter jars to clean out.

Bonnie the slow and careful eater, holds her’s between her paws and licks it clean.


Guapa, who is always starving and gobbles her food so fast she gets sick, gets a little more aggressive with her jar.


It’s easy to tell which method is more successful.

Okay – here’s the next generation of potential cover images, submitted for your critiquing.

First, let me explain…

I want 3 covers: 1 for each of the 2 volumes and 1 for the combined book.

I don’t know If I want the 3 covers to be the same color with different photos or different colors as well.

If they’re different colors should they be shades of the same (like the green) or totally different.

Should the shades be lighter, darker, more similar or less similar.

I have changed the font style, sizes, made the photos smaller and rearranged it a bit.?

Should I arrange differently

I will greatly appreciate any suggestions you have to help me improve them and make them more appealing…..

So…. have at it!

And thanks!!!!














8 thoughts on “Smoked Salmon and Spinach Risotto, Update? Opinion needed again”

  1. I think the colors should be different on each book. I like the first green cover and the orange the best. I think they look the most ‘appetizing’. I love the food pics on all of them. Maybe a yellow/gold color would work, not sure about the fourth color…
    Fun stuff! I like the fonts that you used too 🙂

  2. I agree that the covers should each have a different color, so that the cook can grab the right one when searching for a favorite recipe. Since you are toning on greens, oranges and gold, how about a gold cover for the two-volume one. I think the food photos can be somewhat larger, maybe even “sliding” behind (is there such a word as “underlapping”?) the text where they meet?
    You might also add “Over 40 recipes” on the cover of volumes 1&2.
    My new email address is

  3. I like the color of the first green one, as it’s fresh and “healthy” looking. I think the yellow text at “First Courses…” could be a shade lighter. I agree with Cindy and Zoomie that the volumes should be a different color, so I’d go with the orange version of Volume 2. And I wonder if “Thyme For Cooking” doesn’t deserve its own font/brand. I.e., a different typeface or even a unique logo.

  4. I too think the colours should be different for each book (say green and gold?) . It makes it easier to pull out the correct one from the shelf. Perhaps the two volume one could be the two colours of the single volumes.
    I would also like to see larger photos and prefer lighter background colours to darker ones. It’s easier to see the titles and the photo of the food. And as Dan Dishes said, put the “Thyme for Cooking” into a different font. I’d be inclined to echo the same font as appears on your blog.
    I love the photo of the soup and I think I prefer to see the asparagus pastry on a plate rather than floating plate-free. And instead of curving the plate for the Asparagus pastry, why not just have it run off the edge of the book? (I hope that made sense!)
    Oh yes, and before I forget, the risotto sounds great!

  5. I am keenest on No 1. I give the Cocopop peanut butter jars too and she decimates them, crunches bits of plastic off the rim – your dogs seem quite polite and restrained eaters when up against her and the insatiable appetite lab genes.

  6. Thanks for all the input everyone… all duly noted, laid out on a spreadsheet, analyzed and then back to photoshop…. Good thing I love playing with photoshop LOL

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