Wet and wild — wooded shoreline double garlic risotto

This tasty risotto uses two garlics — one growing on wild rocky Hebridean shorelines and the other from richer warm southern soils.

The Mediterranean garlic clove and the fresh ransoms wild garlic leaf combine to make a wonderfully pungeant flavour. Only sea air will siffer your breath in the morning.

Risotto rice, being dried, is relatively light weight — every extra pound is an extra pound for carrying. Luckily sea kayaks have good load capacity enabling paddlers to take more provisions than those on foot.

Kayaking lightweight

Indeed the differences in carrying capacity are remarkable – with provisions on my back, I can typically and comfortably last a few days when walking into remote areas and, when paddling over the horizon, it is possible to take three week’s provisions. Notwithstanding the added opportunity to top up with ocean fresh* fish.

All this having been said, wild shoreline garlic risotto is a featherweight dream. By weight of ingredients it’s the Sugar Ray Robinson of expedition recipes — rice has a higher energy content per 100g than pasta, bread and meat.

Recipe serves two, cooking time: around 25 minutes


– 1 knob butter
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 2 fresh wet garlic cloves, peeled + chopped
– 1 handful ramsons wild garlic leaves, washed + roughly chopped

– Wild garlic flowers, to garnish

– 1 small onion, peeled + finely chopped
– 250g risotto rice (arborio)
– A splash of white wine or vermouth
– 1 litre chicken stock
– 50g parmesan, finely grated
– 30g butter
Salt and pepper

Cooking directions

– Gently heat a large cooking pot
– Add the butter and oil, and onion gently sweat without letting them colour

– Add chopped garlic cloves, cook for two minutes further
– Add the rice, turn up heat + cook, stirring, until coated with the mix
– Season, add wine + stir until absorbed
– Add enough stock to cover the rice, stir and turn down heat
– Maintain a gentle simmer and stir until the stock has been absorbed
– Repeat, adding stock. Simmer for 15 min
– When the rice is just cooked but still has some bite, add ramsons wild garlic 
– Cook for two minutes further
– Remove from heat, stir in butter + parmesan
– Season + serve with a sprinkling of extra parmesanwild garlic flowers


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