Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fennel and Corn Brown Rice Risotto

This makes a great vegetarian main dish or shellfish side (it'd be delicious with prawns, cooked separately, of course). Be sure to get the vegetables well caramelized; this makes the entire risotto deep brown and very flavorful.

You'll need (serves 3-4):

1c brown rice
4c chicken or vegetable broth
1 onion
1 large fennel bulb
1 ear of corn
8 mushrooms
1T olive oil
1T butter
1c vermouth
1/2c parmesan, grated
1/2c sharp cheddar, grated

Finely chop onion.

Melt butter and oil in large heavy skillet. Add onion.

While onion cooks, chop fennel bulb and add that too (reserve fronds). Remove corn from cob and add it as well, with some salt and pepper.

Clean mushrooms and chop them rougly. Once the veggies look golden brown, add mushrooms and cook 5 more minutes. 

Add rice (and more oil if necessary); stir and cook about 1 minute. 

Add vermouth slowly, scraping at the bottom of the pan (you should have a well-browned fond). Let cook until vermouth boils away.

Add broth slowly, stirring almost constantly, adding more when the mixture looks dry. Cook about 1 hour until rice is tender but not mushy.

Stir in cheese and fennel fronds and serve.


Katie said...

Corn, mushrooms, and fennel, what a lovely combo. Thoughts: this would taste great as a barley or farro risotto, too! In fact, I like both barley and farro better than brown rice. And I would omit the cheddar add some pecorino and some lemon zest for good measure.

purplecook said...

It's so funny you say that-- I wanted to use barley but didn't have enough on hand. I think with farro you'd need something to hold it together, like ricotta or cream mixed in at the end, but it'd still be good.

I actually debated doing pecorino + lemon instead of the cheddar, but I chose the latter because the brown rice and veggies had a very strong flavor and I wanted something to hold up to them. It was really good-- seriously, try it with cheddar. But I bet pecornio and lemon would be delicious as well, especially with something more mild than brown rice. Thanks! :)

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