This week we decided to celebrate fennel. It can sometimes be a struggle to know what to do with this aromatic veg, but it is actually one of my favourites! These recipes are nice to make together, since the risotto uses the bulb, and the slushie uses the fronds/green stalks. So nothing goes to waste!
The risotto is a really nice way to enjoy fennel if you don’t particularly like it’s strong taste – the anise flavour mellows and fades and is really nicely complimented by the parmesan and tomatoes. But if you really love the fennel flavour – the slushie is for you! It’s bright, refreshing, and would be a tasty treat any time of day, or as a palate cleanser/digestif. Or if slushies aren’t your thing, the fennel simple syrup (which is the base of the slushie recipe) can be used in cocktails/mocktails, poured on vanilla ice cream, or stirred into a herbal tea.
Tomato Fennel Risotto
This recipe is adapted from Coley Cooks.
- 4 cups diced tomatoes can be cherry
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil divided, plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium bulb of fennel cored and very thinly sliced
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt divided, plus more to taste
- 1 cup arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ – 2 cups of chicken broth or water
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese optional
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Basil for garnish
Gently heat your water/broth on the stove in a separate pot. Keep warm.
Add the arborio rice, stir, and cook for about 1-2 minutes to toast the rice. Add the white wine and stir until fully absorbed.
Add ½ cup of the broth/water and stir. When the rice absorbs all of the liquid, continue adding more broth/water one ½ cup at a time, while stirring, until all the liquid is used up.
Stir in the tomatoes and cook for about 2-3 minutes. They will release some liquid as they start to cook down.
Add the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons of salt and season with black pepper. Give the risotto a taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. While tasting, take note of how done the rice is. When the rice is cooked through but still al dente, it’s done. Stir in the parmesan if using.
Remove the risotto from the heat and vigorously stir in the remaining ½ cup of olive oil.
Spoon the risotto into bowls, drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with basil. Serve immediately.
Lemon Fennel Slushie
Fennel Simple Syrup
- fronds, green stalks, and bulb trimmings from a medium fennel bulb, roughly chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Lemon Fennel Slushie
- 18 ice cubes (1.5 trays)
- 1/4 cup fennel simple syrup
- 2 tsp lemon juice
To make the simple syrup: combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, with the lid on (but vented). Strain into a jar, label, and store in the fridge. This should last at least a few weeks.
To make the slushie: combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until the ice is broken down and it starts to take on a slushie consistency. Taste and adjust lemon juice/fennel simple syrup as needed. Pour into cups and enjoy!