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October 5, 2014 | by  | in Food Opinion |
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Asparagus and fennel risotto [Recipe]

Risotto is relatively speedy, and best of all, often only one-pot. Being the flat cook means I hardly ever do dishes (score), but if I’m cooking for one or two, I’ll make this if I’m too lazy to put dishes in a dishwasher (side note: thoroughly recommend renting a flat with a dishwasher).

Serves four for a main

2 medium fennel bulbs
1 bunch of asparagus
2 stock cubes (I use vegetarian chicken stock)
1 ½ cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Half a medium leek
¼ cup white wine
5 tablespoons parmesan, grated

Thinly slice the fennel bulbs and the leek. Fry on a med–high heat in a large frying pan (I use a wok when I’m cooking for lots of people). After 2 minutes, add the crushed garlic cloves and stir. Continue cooking until the fennel and leek have gone soft and are starting to brown. Add the rice and stir gently until the rice softens but doesn’t brown. Add the wine and simmer it off until the alcohol has boiled off. Gradually add the stock cubes dissolved in 3 cups of water in boiling water.

Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus in a large frying pan with 4 cm of boiling water in the bottom until just tender. Take the asparagus out and place it in a bowl of iced water without discarding the asparagus pot water. Add the asparagus water to the risotto.

Stir the risotto frequently until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft. Season with salt and pepper, add the butter and the parmesan, and stir through.

I served my risotto with parsnip crisps and an orange, fennel and feta salad.

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