We are back. More than two weeks of traveling. We ate good and we ate horrible. Whatever, I miss our kitchen. Like always after the diving trip our house is a mess. Diving equipment all around. Something already washed and dried, and oh hoho more things to do. We’ll eat on the couch next two or three days since kitchen table is occupied.

On our way back from Sabang we made a stop in Santa Rosa Mall. And surprise, surprise, we found fennel.  It’s not easy to buy fennel in the Philippines. So it was a quite surprise to find it outside Manila area. Fennel risotto is a perfect meal. And if you use arborio rice there is no need to add cooking cream at the end.

Lunch for two, no leftovers.
I was afraid that we don’t have enough fennel so I added 2 star anise to recipe.

1 bulb fennel
1 medium white onion
1/2 cup uncooked Arborio rice (washed and well drained)
4 cups vegetables stock (more or less)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (6 tbsp)
some oilve oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 star anise
fresh flat parsley, spring onion
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the base off of the fennel bulbs, and cut a cone shape into the base to remove the core. Slice the fennel vertically (lengthwise) into 1/4 inch thick slices. Melt butter with olive oil in a heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat.

Cook onions until golden, add fennel and star anise and cook until soften. Stir in the rice, when the rice changes color from white to translucent   (around 2 minutes) add 1 cup of vegetables stock, and stir once or twice. There is no need for constant stirring. When almost all the liquid is absorbed repeat the process. Stir now and then until rice is done (incorporating the broth should take 15 to 20 minutes). At the end add parmesan cheese and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

oh, yes, vegetable stock. Whatever you have at home is better “than low sodium organic from the can vegetable stock”.

1 really big carrot
1 really big onion
1 celery stick
1 pepper
1 chayote
1 bay leave
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
2.5 L water

Put everything in a same pot. Cook, after boiling for 30 min.

difficulty level cooking: easy
difficulty level washing dishes: no big deal