Fennel {& friends} Risotto


The star is fennel, but it does have very tasty co-stars…
I love roasted fennel, and this risotto recipe evolved to incorporate my other roasting favourite – red capsicum.  Then came the addition of homemade preserved lemon, which is always a lovely combo with fennel.


1 brown onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 cup of risotto rice
sploosh olive oil
2 cups of stock
tin of chopped tomatoes
1 or 2 fennel bulbs
1 red capsicum
1/4 preserved lemon
salt & pepper
grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cut the fennel vertically into thick slices and place on a lightly oiled baking tray with some salt and pepper. Place the capsicum whole on another baking tray. Bake in a moderately hot oven for 30 mins or until browned. Capsicum is cooked when the skin has big charred patches. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  2. In a deep frypan, fry the chopped onion in about a tablespoon of olive oil. After about 2 mins add the chopped garlic. Continue cooking for about 5 mins until translucent.
  3. Add the rice and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and stir, cooking for a further 5 mins.
  4. Remove the pith and flesh from the preserved lemon and chop the rind finely. Add to the rice mixture along with the tinned tomatoes and half a cup of stock. Stir and continue to add stock once the rice fully absorbs it. This will take about 30 mins.
  5. Chop the roasted fennel into chunks. Cut the capsicum, laying it flat discarding seeds and then peeling the charred skin. Cut into strips. Add to the risotto and continue to cook until the rice is done.
  6. Before serving add half a cup of finely grated parmesan cheese and adjust the seasoning. A bit of chopped parsley is nice, too.