Fennel and Lemon Risotto Recipe- Dairy Free, with Vegan Option

It is FREEZING here today. As in "wear a gajjilion layers and don't even think about leaving the house" kind of day. The kind of day that I didn't send my kids to school because there's no way on earth I wanted my kids going outside in such cold and icky weather.

And our house is really not winter friendly. Our walls have no insulation- breezes blow in from around our windows, and the walls themselves are icy, not to mention the floor, and the gap under our front door that lets in an ice breeze.

We haven't turned on our heating yet. We've considered it, but didn't yet. It's still manageable if we do things the right way, and part of that is having warm foods that fill your body with heat that radiates outward. On the menu for today- risotto and split pea soup. I wasn't sure what type of risotto to make, but seeing as I had a lot of fennel, decided to go that direction.

My fennel lemon risotto came out really amazingly well, and really hit the spot on this cold cold today. It's a terrific food for any time, but especially when it's cold. It can easily be made vegan- just use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth- and is gluten free, cheap, etc... (At least locally. I know in some locations fennel can be expensive, but it's a winter veggie in my area and cheap now.)

Fennel Risotto with Lemon Recipe- Dairy Free, with Vegan Option

3-4 tablespoons oil (I used coconut)
1 onion
2 large fennel bulbs, 4 small
2 cups risotto rice
Approximately 10 cups vegetable or chicken broth (I used my scrap broth)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste
Juice of one small lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

1. Chop up the onion and the stalks from the fennel bulb.

2. Saute the onion and fennel stalks in half the oil.

3. Add the rice, and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.

4. Put the heat on low, and add the broth, a cup at a time, to the rice. Stir frequently. When the liquid is absorbed enough that you can see the bottom of the pot, add another cup. Keep adding more cups in this method until the rice is fully soft.

5. Meanwhile, chop the bulb of the fennel, and fry it in the rest of the oil. When fully soft and starting to brown, add to the rice.

6. Season with garlic powder, add lemon juice and lemon zest, salt to taste, and add nutritional yeast.


Are you a fan of risotto? How do you make yours?
What type of food do you generally make on freezing cold days?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Make sure to tell your readers that the broth must be hot, or at the very least, not-cold. Otherwise the temperature difference cracks the rice and you end up with mush (that's what all the chefs say, anyway).

    I make mine the lazy way: I add the rice, cook it for a few minutes, and then add hot broth (1:3 rice:broth if I'm using white rice), let it come to a rolling boil, and then turn the heat down and wait about 20 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally. Sometimes, if I'm being fancy, I'll cook mushrooms first, remove the mushrooms, and then add them back during the last 5-10 minutes. If it's not "real" risotto I haven't had any complaints :-)

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