Slow-Cooker Pinenut, Fennel and Parmesan Risotto
There are three kinds of risotto rice that are widely available - Arborio, Carnoroli and Vialone Nano. If I am cooking a risotto on the hob, I use Arborio, which gives a pleasant texture because it breaks down after absorbing a certain amount of liquid. For the rice to absorb the flavour of the dish and hold the texture over a few hours, it is worth seeking out Vialone Nano; it will give a creamy sauce and the rice will still have 'bite'. It is widely available from delicatessens and some supermarkets. Arborio will do as a substitute.
You can also experiment with different flavours in the risotto by adding other vegetables at the end: try stirring in some steamed asparagus, fresh peas or stir-fried courgette along with the rocket.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 fennel heads, trimmed and sliced thinly
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 500g vialone nano risotto rice
- 250ml white wine
- 2 litres vegetable stock
- 125g pine nuts, roasted
- 100g Parmesan, grated
- 25g dill, chopped
- 100g wild rocket
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onions, fennel and garlic for about 10 minutes, until softened, but not coloured.
Add the rice, bay leaves and wine and cook for a few minutes, unti the mixture is heated through.
Add the stock and bring to the boil before transferring to the slow cooker. Stir in the pine nuts. Cover and cook for 4 hours on the low setting.
Stir through the Parmesan, dill and rocket before serving.