Fennel risotto

January is Veganuary month, the month in which the vegan movement promotes the change towards a plant-based diet with the aim of making known, especially to those who are not vegan, the health benefits for the planet and animals. It is also the month in which one tries to return to a balanced diet after the holidays which, like it or not, are days in which conviviality at the table is impossible to avoid (which as far as I'm concerned is always a pleasure).

Il fennel risotto I thought of it precisely from the perspective of these two needs: on the one hand the desire to lighten up and take care of one's diet a little, on the other the desire to embrace the idea of ​​vegan cuisine without thinking too much about it. However, I immediately came across that ingredient which for me is almost more important than butter in a risotto: Parmesan. And so, as I moved confidently and boldly in the kitchen I realized that I didn't have a worthy substitute for my favorite ingredient. And so plan B immediately fell into disuse and only plan A remained standing. Not bad.

Fennel risotto is a balanced dish, light starting from dry roasting rice and by the use of salt water instead of broth. The intention was to enhance the aromaticity of fennel and lemon by limiting to a minimum any other ingredient that could mask their taste.

Aromatic, delicate and very creamy, this fennel risotto (with a little lemon zest) really deserves to be among the “light” dishes, even if not vegan, of the month of January.

Risotto with fennel and lemon

200 g of Carnaroli type rice
1 white onion
1 large fennel
1 organic lemon
40 g of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Extra virgin olive oil
black pepper

Doses for 2 people

Clean and slice the onion thinly, using a mandolin. Do the same thing with the fennel. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan and first simmer the onion then add the fennel, salt and continue cooking until they are soft. Once cooked, take half of the seasoning and blend it.

Boil a liter of water and add salt, but not too much.

Start preparing the risotto: dry roast the rice – it means heating the saucepan, adding the rice and letting it toast, stirring continuously for a couple of minutes – once toasted, add a little hot salted water and start the classic preparation, continuing to add water as it dries and stirring constantly.

Halfway through cooking, add all the seasoning (both the blended one and the rest) and continue cooking. When the rice is cooked, turn off the heat, add the Parmesan, the grated lemon zest, a couple of tablespoons of oil and stir. Let the risotto rest covered for a couple of minutes and serve with a generous sprinkling of black pepper.


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