Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 3 large fennel bulbs (4 cups chopped)

  2. 2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot

  3. 1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed

  4. 45ml olive oil

  5. 75g fresh unsalted butter

  6. About 1 1/2 litres salt-free chicken stock

  7. 400g Italian risotto rice (arborio)

  8. 1/2 cup dry white wine

  9. 1/2 tsp salt

  10. 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

  11. Sauteed prawns

  12. 20 Australian raw prawns

  13. 1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  14. Finely grated zest 1 lemon

  15. 1/4 tsp chilli flakes

  16. 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Fennel risotto with prawns Trim fennel, cut in half, wash thoroughly, then chop (not super-fine but not too chunky either!). Reserve and chop some fennel fronds to add to the prawns and use as garnish. Put chopped fennel bulbs, shallot and garlic in a large wide saucepan or gratin dish with the oil and half the butter. Cook gently for about 20 minutes, until nice and tender, stirring often.

  2. Bring stock to a steady simmer then set on lowest heat so it stops simmering but stays very hot (if it boils, it will evaporate).

  3. Add rice to the fennel and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the wine, cook for 3-4 minutes, then start adding stock (2 ladlefuls to begin with). Stir gently but continuously until the stock has nearly evaporated, then add another ladleful. Continue cooking for about 15-20 minutes, adding stock as required and stirring continuously to stop the rice sticking.

  4. The rice is ready when the grains are al dente – still firm and only just cooked through, but no longer chalky inside. Season with the salt and plenty of black pepper, then whip in the rest of the butter and parmesan, beating for 2 minutes to make risotto creamy and light. Cover and leave to infuse for 2 minutes. Serve immediately topped with sautéed prawns and garnished with a little fennel frond.

  5. For the prawns, twist head off each one and remove shell, leaving tail end intact. Slit down the back and extract the vein. Rinse prawns and pat dry with paper towels. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add prawns and fry on both sides until golden. Lower heat, add lemon zest, chilli flakes, if using, garlic and most of the chopped fennel fronds. Stir for a few minutes until lemon zest starts to go golden. Serve prawns immediately on the risotto.

  6. Cook's tips Don’t rush softening the fennel – it may take 30 minutes, but the time is worth it.

  7. From Taste magazine, May 2011.


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