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Fennel Bacon and Porcini Risotto

fennel and bacon risotto

The last of the season’s fennel came out of the garden just over a week ago. Fennel has been a real surprise from the garden for us this year. I grew a few last year but I do not recall what I made with them, it was not memorable….This year’s crop came from my new vegetable garden area and I had plenty to start experimenting with in the kitchen.

The first recipe (and the one we had a few times from the harvests) was a Skillet Baked Fennel  recipe, this was the other recipe, equally enjoyed. I love to serve risotto at our family table in Winter. It is comforting and warm, fabulous family friendly food.

A drizzly Winter afternoon with no dinner planned and no intention of leaving the warm house I found the ingredients for this dish in the pantry and the garden. I had my regular stash of bacon in the freezer for low cost family meals and thought it would marry beautifully with the earthy mushrooms and sweet fennel.

I will most definitely be adding Fennel to the vegetable garden again in Summer/Autumn, and more of it. The flavor is deep and sweet when it is baked.  When it is baked it presents a much less imposing flavor than as a raw ingredient – which is nice in Summer with a salad or cold chicken but in the cooler months I prefer the sweeter, caramel characteristics that are evident when it is baked.

Fennel and Bacon Risotto
Fennel and Bacon Risotto
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6
  • 2 small fennel bulbs trimmed and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • ¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 3 garlic cloves - chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 red onion - chopped finely
  • 100 grams short rind bacon - diced
  • 1 cup arborio risotto rice
  • ⅓ cup white wine (dry not sweet)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • fresh spring onion - shredded to serve
  • freshly ground black pepper to serve
  1. Set the oven to heat to 170 degrees
  2. Prepare the fennel, place in a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt
  3. Bake for 25 minutes remove from the oven and chop into cubes
  4. Place the mushrooms in a dish with ½ cup of boiling water and let them sit to soften
  5. Add the oil to a pan and over medium high heat cook the garlic and onion
  6. Add the bacon and stir until it starts to cook
  7. Add the rice and stir to coat
  8. Add the wine and stir, wait until it reduces by half
  9. Add the porcini mushrooms and the liquid they were soaking in and reduce the heat of the pan slightly
  10. Once the liquid is almost all absorbed add the stock 1 cup at a time until it is absorbed, then add the next cup of stock until it is all used
  11. When you add the last cup of stock add the chopped baked fennel
  12. Serve with shredded spring onion and fresh grinds of black pepper
fennel porcini risotto

Do you grow fennel and have you tried it in risotto? 






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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Krista June 17, 2014, 10:28 pm

    What a delicious and hearty meal. 🙂 I have two fennel bulbs ready to harvest and I just spotted a few babies who started up all on their own. 🙂

  • Glenda @ Healthy Stories June 24, 2014, 10:23 pm

    Oh wow. This has got just about all of my favourite things in it, and it’s even dairy-free. I love fennel in pretty much every form, although I do have a soft spot for it when it’s baked and caramelised.

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