Fennel and White Wine Risotto with a knob of butter

One good thing about having a cool spring is that I was able to make risotto one last time before the summer heat overtakes our condo. Since our condo faces west, the early evening sun heats up the place and makes the task of stirring hot broth into rice an unpleasant one to say the least.

That reminds me, risotto apparently works quite well in a pressure cooker. Perhaps the warm weather will make me break with tradition and opt for the quick no-stir method. Time will tell.

This risotto recipe was passed along to me by a co-worker.  One day, I was politely eyeing her lunch (this happens quite often), so she sent me the link.  The recipe is courtesy of Waitrose, a UK grocery store.

She and her husband hail from the UK, so we always have fun pointing out the different words used for things there and here. For example, jumper and sweater, garden and backyard, and football and soccer, to name a few.  I think my favourite one is flapjacks.  In Canada flapjacks, without a doubt, refers to pancakes.  In the UK it refers to a crunchy oatmeal-based cookie akin to a sweet granola bar. Wow! I couldn’t believe it. We both speak English, but sometimes it is like another language.  She made a batch of UK flapjacks for us to try, which we all agreed was a nice way to learn about a “different language” and a little easier to share at lunchtime than a plate of Canadian flapjacks.

The risotto recipe had a couple of firsts in it for me too: the first time I had cooked with fennel (hard to believe, I know) and the first time I had made risotto with white wine. The fennel was great (except that I did not chop it fine enough – easily remedied), but the white wine, not so much. I really dislike white wine and figured I would get past it in a risotto, but I couldn’t. Next time I make this dish, or another risotto that calls for white wine, I will leave it out and use extra stock.

The other thing that worked against me was that the power went out for 30 minutes right in the middle of cooking the risotto. Sigh. The texture was certainly a bit off and I had to add a few extra ladles of stock to get the dish back on track, but it survived.  At least the risotto was saved and we didn’t have to garbage it and go out to eat.

I used the recipe as is, so click here to take a look.

Oh, if you are wondering, a knob of butter translates to 2 tablespoon here in Canada.


4 responses to “Fennel and White Wine Risotto with a knob of butter

  1. I LOVE the wine in risotto. To me it makes ALL the difference, but I can’t use it as Vanja really hates wine in any food just like you. SO funny. I learned to make risotto from Jamie Oliver in his book COOK. Excellent instructions. I don’t make it often enough. This recipe looks really good. Again, Vanja would not like the fennel. I love it. Aren’t we the pair? But, I cook for him, and I do make myself things I like, too… I just wish he was more adventurous, sometimes….

    • Nice to see you at the market on Saturday Valerie.

      I love red wine in food, but not white.

      I feel the same way about risotto – that I do not make it often enough. There are not enough meals in the week!

  2. Lovely! Let’s see more recipes from your pressure cooker cookbooks!



  3. I love risotto and this is a really good veggie version. I definitely have nothing against white wine but, since learning to cook risotto using Jamie’s recipes, I always use vermouth. It has become one of my favourite smells – when the vermouth hits the hot oil, shallots,garlic and rice. Plus, I don’t think it is over aniseedy (is that even a word?).

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