Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fennel - what?

If you've ever seen this stuff in the store, you may have wondered just what to do with it. That's me, always. I am fairly adventurous, and try to buy things that I don't know what they are!

Today it was Fennel.

Here's a copy of the recipe I used this evening. I only had 2 large bulbs of Fennel, so I substituted with a pound of sliced mushrooms. Yes, it really did take SEVEN cups of broth (I used chicken bullion). This made an enormous stock pot over half full of Risotto. I have a family of 6 that put a good dent in it, but we did have left overs. Give it a try - and let me know how you liked your first fennel experience!

  • 4 bulbs fennel
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley, if desired
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Cut the base off of the fennel bulbs, and cut a cone shape into the base to remove the core. Slice the fennel vertically (lengthwise) into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  2. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat. Cook onions and fennel in butter for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice; cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted. Stir in 1 cup broth; continue stirring until liquid is almost completely absorbed. Repeat this process with remaining broth, stirring constantly. Incorporating the broth should take 15 to 20 minutes in all.
  3. Stir in cream, 3 tablespoons Parmesan and parsley, and cook until rice is done and risotto is thick and creamy. Season to taste with black pepper. Divide risotto among 6 bowls, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

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