The fennel & spring onion plants growing in pots on my roof terrace are ready to harvest. I have been looking for suitable fennel recipes for a while, something special to really showcase our one & only fennel plant. While the classic fennel & orange salad sounded really fresh & delicious it has been raining here and I didn't feel like asalad, I wanted something warm & comforting. Jamies recipe for fennel risotto seemed to fit the bill. All I had to do was substitute normal onions for my beautiful spring onions. The required lemon zest & juice I changed for orange, living in Andalucia I felt it my duty! He recommends using a good ricotta or a soft crumbly goat's cheese. A while ago I found a local Andalucian goat's & sheep's cheese producer and had been keen to try the goat's ricotta (requeson in Spanish). So, I had all the ingredients for a seasonal, homegrown, locally produced recipe. I just had to share it with you... —foodblogandthedog
fennel, chopped. Reserve fronds for garnish
celery stalk, chopped
Spanish spring onion or 4 or 5 scallions chopped
Heat the veg stock in a small pan over a low heat.
Heat the olive oil & butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add in the fennel seeds, onions, fennel & celery and cokk until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add in the rice and stir to coat in the oil and butter. When the rice starts to turn translucent add in the wine and cook until it evaporates.
Add a ladle of the hot stock and season well with salt & black pepper. When all the liquid has been absorbed add another ladle of stock, stir or swirl the rice, wait for it to be absorbed and repeat until the rice is cooked. This should take about 18 minutes with white rice and longer with brown.
When the rice is cooked remove the pan from the heat, add the tbsp butter, parmesan, orange zest, half the orange juice and crumble over the ricotta. Stir, put the lid on and leave for 2 minutes.
Taste and add more orange juice if you think it needs it. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with a pinch of dried chilli flakes and the fennel fronds. Have a bowl of the ricotta and Parmesan on the table for people to help themselves to.