Risotto with Roasted Fennel and Pine Nuts Recipe

Risotto with Roasted Fennel and Pine Nuts

Roasted fennel brings a touch of sophistication to this risotto recipe. An excellent choice for a vegetarian amongst your guests or as a side for a fabulous roast.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

US MeasuresMetricICYMI

Fennel:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced and some green fronds set aside for garnish
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • sea salt and pepper

Risotto:

  • 4 cups or more vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • grated Parmesan (optional)

Fennel:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced and some green fronds set aside for garnish
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • sea salt and pepper

Risotto:

  • 1 L or more vegetable stock
  • 300 g arborio rice
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 120 ml white wine
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 70 g pine nuts, toasted
  • grated Parmesan (optional)

Arborio rice gives this dish its creaminess while preserving at the same time the cherished “al dente” feel. Instead of Arborio you can also use other medium-grain rice varieties like Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice.

Arborio rice is named after the town of Arborio, in the Po Valley. It is also grown in Arkansas, California, and Missouri. My favorite brand in the US is Della Rice from Arkansas.

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400° F/200° C.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix fennel slices, olive oil, lemon juice, Herbes de Provence, sea salt, and pepper. Coat fennel slices well with olive oil mix. Spread fennel on the baking sheet and roast it for about 35 minutes or until tender and edges begin to brown a bit. Remove from the oven and keep it warm. Reserve and set aside about 4 tablespoons of roasted fennel for garnish.

Meanwhile, begin with the risotto. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and keep it at a low simmer.

Add olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Do not let it brown. Add the arborio rice and cook it stirring all the time until rice is well coated with the olive oil/butter mix. Add white wine and cook it until the wine is absorbed. Start adding about 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable stock to the rice. Cook while stirring all the time until the stock is absorbed. Repeat the process until all stock has been used. If rice is still not done, add more stock. Taste for salt and pepper. Rice should be cooked in about 35-40 minutes. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and the roasted fennel.

Garnish each risotto plate with 1 tablespoon roasted fennel, green fennel fronds and toasted pine nuts.

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