Delcious lemony risotto made with fennel
Onion, Garlic, Fennel heads, Lemon and Flat Leaf Parsley
1- Finely chop an onion, and gently braise it in plenty of olive oil until just coloured, adding a couple of crushed garlic cloves after 2-3 minutes- don’t overcook these.
2- Slice a couple of fennel heads plus the first 1-2” of stem, and stir into the pot, continue to braise gently for another few minutes.
3- Meanwhile, either boil a kettle and make up a jug of hot vegetable stock, or if you are one of those impressive cooks who do everything from scratch, get out the home-made version and heat to simmer. Add as much Arborio rice as you need to the vegetable mix, stir gently to coat the grains, and then gradually add the hot stock.
4- Risottos do need some attention, as the temptation to empty all the stock in at first doesn’t stop the rice from burning, and can result in a sloppy mess of hard grains and too much liquid. Keep adding the stock as it is consumed by the rice, stirring regularly to stop it from sticking-this takes 15-20 minutes. Towards the end, put in a good big splash of any white wine if you have it.
5- When the rice is soft, season with salt, black pepper, and add the grated zest of 1-2 unwaxed lemons, a good handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley, and some finely chopped fennel fern.
6- At this stage, freshly grated parmesan can be added- or , as a non dairy eater, I often add some grated “mozzarella” block( made by Toffutti, available from good health food shops) Stir everything together, let it rest for a minute, then serve and eat immediately. It's delicious!!