Fennel, Lemon & Sage Risotto

Risotto is one of my favorite dish. Once you’ve grabbed the recipe in its beginnings, then you can create all the variations you want. Here’s one version with fennel, sage and lemon. Loaded with iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, antioxidants as well as vitamine C and K, fennel is a great ally for digestion. Sage is also full of antioxidants. Fennel and sage are still seasonal in November so we might just take advantages of their good benefits while we still can. You don’t really reheat a risotto as the rice will not be ‘al dente’ anymore. You can, nevertheless, preparer in advance some broth and as well as some sage (cut in ice cube packs with olive oil) and store those in the freezer so you can enjoy them all winter season.Ingredients:

  •  2 onions
  • 3 fennel bulbs
  • 1 handful sage leaves
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 300g arborio rice for risotto
  • 2 tbsp organic butter
  • 3 tbsp organic olive oil
  • 2 liters of liquid made of 1.5 liter vegetable broth (either pre-bought in organic store or home made with one celeriac branch, two tomatoes, three carrots, one large onion and 2 liter water) and of 0.5 litre “tomato elixir'” (1 kg small / medium tomatoes with 2 tbsp olive oil)


  1. The night before, prepare the vegetable broth by cooking the vegetables in boiling salted water
  2. Once the vegetable are cooked, retrieve the pan from the heat and let the broth cool down with the vegetables in the broth (you’ll filter the broth before using it);
  3. Cut and slice the fennel bulbs
  4. Dice the onions
  5. In a pan, add one tbps butter and one tbsp olive oil. Add the onion and the fennel and let them caramelize; Set aside
  6. In a large pan (large enough to contain the broth you’ll add to cook the risotto rice), place the butter and the olive oil
  7. Once the butter has melted, add the remaining onion and brown it till golden and crisp
  8. On high heat, add the dry rice and stir it till well covered with oil and butter
  9. Lower the heat and add the broth: the rice should be just under the broth level
  10. Stir the rice constantly (ideally with a special wooden risotto spoon) so it absorbs the broth. When the liquid starts to diminish, add some more and so on on so forth. The rice should be cooked ‘al dente’ (approx. around 20 min depending on your risotto rice brand). Personally, I love to add the ‘juice’ of roasted tomatoes that I prepare for the tomato risotto. Just roast the tomatoes and keep the cooking ‘juice’. Add it to the broth, it will give a delightful flavour to the dish.
  11. Add the fennel, the lemon zest and the onions to the rice, season to taste and mix well
  12. You can add fresh sage. I advise you to add it to the onions and fennel while caramelizing them
  13. You can also serve with grated parmesan