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Slow-Cooker Pinenut, Fennel and Parmesan Risotto

by Cara Hobday from The Complete Slow Cooker Cookbook

Cooking this beautiful risotto in the slow-cooker means that the rice soaks up all of the lovely flavours and is super tender to the bite. It is the perfect dish to serve at a dinner party, and you can easily alter the vegetables depending on what is in season.


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.

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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

Essential kit

You will need a slow cooker.

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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.

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