Fennel, Leek & Lemon Risotto

Lemon Risotto 007aI don’t buy women’s magazines very often, but when the one that had the pics of the Clooney wedding was sitting right at the
checkout at the supermarket, I did pick it up, and after a causal look through I wondered why I had bothered!

However, just before discarding it, I took another look and that is when I saw the MENU! And that is when I said to JR “Well it was worth getting this mag!” Is it sad to be more interested in the menu than the frock?

Just in case you haven’t seen the menu – here it is as published in
NZ Woman’s Day magazine, October 13, 2014.

  • Vellutata (creamy soup) of ratte potatoes with champagne & black truffle
  • Lemon risotto with lobster
  • Lemon & ricotta angalotti pasta
  • Tagliato (fillet) of chianino beef with porcini mushrooms, anna potaotes & green figs
  • Sea bass baked in paper with fruit & vegetable ceviche
  • Millefoglie (stack) of autumn vegetables
  • Chaud froid (jelly) served with strawberries & zabaglione

Served with

  • Pinot grigio, Jermann 2013
  • Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellais 2011

Taking inspiration from the lemon risotto served as George’s
wedding and the gorgeous spring produce in our markets this is my take on a lemon risotto. As I didn’t have a lobster laying around, I served it with pan-cooked salmon and a side of steamed asparagus.

Fennel, Leek & Lemon Risotto

Serves 4 as a main or 8 as a first course

1 tbsp olive oil
4 thin leeks, thinly sliced
1 medium bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock, heated and kept warm
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh dill, or to taste

1              Place a knob of butter, oil, leeks, fennel and garlic in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring
occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables soften.

2              Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes to toast.

3              Add wine and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until
absorbed. Add about ½ cup stock and cook, stirring, until absorbed. Continue adding stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and allow stock to be absorbed before adding next quantity until rice is tender and creamy, but still has a slight bite.

4              Remove from heat, stir in lemon rind and juice and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add most of the dill, reserving some for garnishing, add another knob of butter, if desired, and mix to combine. Serve scattered with remaining dill.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other risotto recipes you might like to try


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Smoked Trout, Pea & Preserved Lemon Risotto

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Celery Risotto



8 thoughts on “Fennel, Leek & Lemon Risotto”

  1. Ohhh Yum! I love risotto. Haven’t really played around too much with lemon in dishes like this, Ill have to give it a go, it’d be a nice side with some meat, I don’t particularly like lobster, but see how it’d go. Is it just me, or is risotto at a wedding not really a common thing?
    Hope your weekend has been lovely Rachel. 🙂

    1. This is Venice – Anna – and a celeb wedding so I guess anything probably goes. I remember having really good risotto in Venice.

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