Risotto with Leeks and Fennel

It may not sound as good as it is in reality, but this risotto has a wonderful combination of subtle flavors of leeks, fennel and Parmigiano Reggiano. It's not the kind that impresses you with explosive tastes at the first taste. It's the kind that impresses you with its lovely flavors as you go from the first to the next ones. It's not highfalutin and complex. It's simple and it's comforting. And it's something that I would like to have at home with my family because it's healthy.

Fennel has been known for its medicinal uses since the ancient Roman times. It is believed to help improve the eyesight, thus it is called the herb of sight. It also sends away intestinal gas, it works as a natural mild laxative and it improves the milk supply of breastfeeding mothers. I always use fennel in salads and as side dishes. This can be a recipe that you can add to your list on how to cook fennel when you happen to have some.

I create recipes for Skinny Ms., a site dedicated to healthy living with tips and recipes to help improve our lifestyles. You can find this Risotto with Leeks and Fennel recipe there as one of their healthy recipes or just scroll down.

Risotto with Leeks and Fennel 

Yields 4 servings

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 stalk leek, sliced to rings
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cups rice for risotto (Vialone Nano, Carnaroli, Arborio or Roma)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 bulbs fennel, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
  1. Over medium heat, in a semi-tall saucepan with extra virgin olive oil, sautè the leeks for 3 minutes then add the fennel seeds.
  2. Add the rice and toast for 3 minutes, moving constantly to avoid burning.
  3. Pour the wine and let it evaporate by half, about 2 - 3 minutes.
  4. Add the fennel, then pour the broth little by little as you cook. The rice should have enough liquid to absorb but not too much or little because it might dry up.
  5. Cook for about 17 -19 minutes, moving constantly so it doesn't stick to the saucepan.
  6. When the rice is cooked through and has a creamy consistency, turn off the fire then add the butter and the Parmesan. You can avoid the butter but it gives a rounder taste to the dish.
  7. Serve immediately.

More Fennel Recipes: