The past few months we have been big Fennel fans - love it so much that we are going to attempt to grow it this year, eeks! We love it sliced up raw in our mouths or in a salad, slow cooked with a chicken or now, roasted with shallots and garlic for the topping of a rice (otto) dish I had been dreaming up while on the treadmill - I do some of my most creative cooking thinking while working out!
Risotto also known as Arborio is a staple in our house. I ALWAYS have at least a cup of it in the "pantry" so that I can whip up a nice basic Risotto when in a pinch as what we should eat. Why should this night be any different?
I poured a nice glass of wine, turned on some Sade (it was just that kind of night) and started the prep work of roasting my sweet little fennel. Smells of licorice, garlic and shallots filled our house and they were caramelizing perfectly! Now it was time to heat up my stock and start the meditating process of cooking the risotto.
Where was it? Not where it should be. It should be somewhere is our tiny pantry. I tore it up, no where. Just a cup of brown rice. S#*&! I had a great filling and hot broth, what the heck I would give it a whirl. After, what seemed liked minutes, I realized this would never work. Rice does not make risotto. Tossed in the broth and slow cooked it. Luckily, it was somewhat soft and creamy rice so I tossed in a pat of butter and a little Parmesan at the end and topped the mixture with the lovely caramelized fennel. On the upside the nuttiness of the brown rice went nicely with the fennel and cheese. Not risotto but a darn good dish of rice (otto)