Risotto is an Italian classic that’s both elegant & rustic. Easy to make than some would think, risotto can be flavored with meat, cheese or veggies. Fennel, Artichoke & Lemon Risotto is a light & flavorful combination. Serve it with a simple salad & some crusty bread or as a side dish with grilled salmon, roasted chicken or pork.
Don’t let the very beige, somewhat nondescript appearance fool you (I’m really selling you on this aren’t I?!), what this fennel, artichoke & lemon risotto lacks in dazzling good looks, it more than makes up for in flavor.
The fennel, unpredictably, didn’t overshadow the whole show & instead was a bashful flavor in the background – surprising because fennel is no wallflower. Asiago cheese & artichokes are quite assertive but the whole symphony of ingredients was elevated with lemon. Lemon juice & lemon zest were added for brightness.
Apart from a squash & bean chili I’m making this week, my days of squidgy, comfort food are fast coming to an end for the season as I long for spring with its bright greens, fresh textures & flavors. Don’t get me wrong, risotto can be eaten year-round, especially an asparagus risotto served with grilled salmon & roasted beets in the warmer months. But I’m ready for some salads, bright colors & crunchy textures. I’d bet I’m not alone.
In my quest to eat less beast & a whole lot more veg, I’ve been serving a lot of vegetarian-style meals – much to my husband’s chagrin. It’s helping, I’m losing weight. Although I may need to seek marriage counseling – joking. If you love risotto, make this & let me know what you think. Fennel, Artichoke & Asiago Risotto pairs wonderfully with a bowlful of assertive arugula drizzled with a little balsamic & olive oil. And please, don’t forget the wine! Until next time, toodles, Lovoni xo
A PIC TO SHARE ON PINTEREST
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, thinly sliced (reserve some of the fronds for garnish)
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 3/4 cup dry sherry
- 14 oz (398ml) can artichoke quarters, drained
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch salt & pepper
- To make the gremolata, combine all ingredients in a small bowl; set aside until ready to use.
- Place broth into a small saucepan & bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover & keep warm.
- Heat the oil & butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, fennel & garlic & cook for about 10 minutes until softened.
- Add the rice & stir until each grain is coated in oil.
- Add sherry & cook, stirring until sherry has been absorbed by the rice.
- Add hot broth about 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly after each addition until the broth has been absorbed before adding more. Continue to add broth until about 3/4 cup remains. Stir in broth, artichokes, salt, pepper & nutmeg. Continue to stir until almost all the broth is absorbed & rice is tender (you’ll want the rice a little al dente). You’ll want to risotto to be about the consistency of slightly runny oatmeal (porridge), it will continue to thicken once the cheese is added.
- Add in lemon juice & cheese & stir until cheese is melted.
- Stir in the gremolata & serve immediately.