Fennel, risotto rice, goats cheese,
cream, leek, vegetable stock, vermouth
I adore fennel - the liquorice taste which is so prevalent when it's raw, adds a fresh dimension to a rich dish so I think this is perfect to balance the goats cheese in this risotto. All risottos (no matter what the ingredients) can be made in 3 simple stages. The first is called tostatura - coating the rice in fat, the second involves cooking off some alcohol and the third involves releasing the starch from the rice one ladle of stock at a time.
1) Finely dice the leek and sautee in a little butter until soft. Add the risotto rice and stir until the rice becomes transparent, revealing a white dot in the centre and pour in a glug of vermouth.
2) Once the alcohol cooks off, add the first ladle of stock and stir through.
3) Continue adding the stock, one ladle at a time, adding the sliced fennel with the second to last ladle of stock. Crumble through the goats cheese and stir through.
4) Finish with a little cream and freshly grated black pepper and serve.