Fennel & lemon risotto

Fennel & lemon risotto

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(66 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 2

This new way with risotto makes an easy supper for two. For a non-veggie option, just add a few cooked, peeled prawns

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal477
  • fat16g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs69g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre7g
  • protein13g
  • salt1.12g
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  • 1 large fennel bulb, base trimmed
    Fennel bulb

    Fennel bulb

    Like Marmite, fennel is something that you either love or hate – its strong aniseed…

  • 1 tbsp butter, plus a knob



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 140g risotto rice
    Risotto rice

    Risotto rice

    To create an authentic creamy Italian risotto, the use of specialist rice is imperative. It…

  • 175ml white wine
  • 550ml hot vegetable stock
  • zest 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 25g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

Make it non-veggie

  • small handful cooked, peeled prawns per portion



    There are thousands of different species of prawn, but tiger, king and North Atlantic are the…


  1. Chop any green leafy fennel fronds and set aside. Cut off the stalk-like fennel top, remove the outer layers and finely chop both. Heat 1 tbsp butter in a frying pan and cook the onion, garlic and chopped fennel until soft but not coloured.

  2. Add the rice and stir for 1 min. Pour over most of the wine and simmer until evaporated. Add 500ml of the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring between each addition until it is absorbed.

  3. Meanwhile, slice remaining fennel and fry in knob of butter until browned. Add remaining stock and wine and cook until tender.

  4. When the rice is cooked, stir in the zest, Parmesan and some seasoning. Take off the heat and set aside, covered, for 2 mins. Serve in bowls, topped with the fennel fronds and cooked fennel, stirring the prawns through if using.

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Comments, questions and tips

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13th Jun, 2015
I've finally given in and created an account on BBC Good Food just to comment on this recipe. I've tried to make tomato/mushroom risottos a few times in the past, and never found the result satisfactory. I was beginning to think that risottos are a) my Achilles' heel and b) overrated anyway. But I recently found myself the proud if bemused owner of one half-price fennel bulb, and had to do something with it. I followed charlit's suggestion and at the end of the cooking time added a roasted red pepper. And the result was delicious. I would heartily recommend this recipe to anyone, whether they like risotto or not. It was gorgeous. Full marks.
Pluto's place's picture
Pluto's place
10th Feb, 2015
Delicious midweek supper with left overs...felt satisfied. Perfect as it is; only needs a generous grinding of pepper, no salt when seasoning the dish.
29th Oct, 2014
Loved it, delicious. I couldn't get a fennel bulb so used 1.5-2 tablespoons of fennel seeds instead. I also didn't use any cheese. I used an inch of ginger finely chopped as I have a cold and plenty ginger leftover. I also just use juice of lemon as I don't have a rinding tool. It was a very unique and interesting flavour. Will likely have again.
19th Oct, 2014
Fabulous risotto. Strong lemon taste, rather than fennel, which is much milder in this dish. Wasn't immediately apparent how to divide the fennel for the different stages of the recipe, so most of mine was chopped and added at the start - still worked perfectly.
8th Jun, 2014
Absolutely amazing dish, I added prawns for a bit of extra protein and flavour, and substituted wine for extra stock as I didn't have any at the time but it worked out really well. The fennel and lemon just work perfectly together, it's now become a firm favourite of mine. Would highly recommend
8th Jan, 2014
Gorgeous rissoto for an inpromptu Christmas-time get together with friends. I substituted the wine with extra stock and this worked out perfectly. Healthy dose of parmesan over the top was lovely.
18th Dec, 2012
Really nice! I couldn't resist adding a splash of cream and it was lovely.
1st Dec, 2012
A stalwart.
2nd Jul, 2012
Yum Yum Yum. Very easy to make and will definately make again!
13th Jun, 2012
This is a firm staple for us, it's so easy to do and flavour entirely depends on the quality of the ingredients. Lovely fresh fennel and a good wine make a world of difference! I haven't tried it with prawns, but to be honest I don't think it needs them - it's a great lighter mid-week meal.


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