This vegan risotto is a delight for your tastebuds – the sweetness of caramelised fennel, combined with the saltiness of garlic herb cashews. And our secret ingredient, adds a splash of umami.
My mum doesn’t like fennel, but she loves this risotto. The distinctive and strong aniseed flavour of fennel is mellowed and transformed by caramelising it in brown sugar.
We use our pressure cooker to cook the risotto quicker and easier, but you can also cook this fennel risotto using the traditional method. Simply cook in a deep frying pan, cover with liquid, then add more liquid as it gets absorbed. You will need more water if you use this method.
We don’t often have wine, so developed the prefect substitute for it in our fennel risotto. One part lemon or lime juice to one part soy or tamari sauce makes a flavour filled substitute that brings more richness and depth of flavour than wine. Do, of course, feel free to add a splash of vegan wine if you fancy!
The traditional topping for a risotto is grated cheese, but this vegan risotto is no less indulgent with its topping of cashew nuts, fried with herbs, garlic and salt. You can make them whilst the risotto cooks, just try and resist the temptation to gobble them all up before the risotto is ready. I warn you, they are seriously tasty! Another warning! Don’t skip the cashew topping, they are ESSENTIAL to complement and complete the fennel risotto :)
Caramelised Fennel Risotto with Herby Garlic Cashews
- 1 fennel
- 1 onion small to medium
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 lemon (juiced)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce strong
- 1 tsp stock powder
- 1 cup risotto rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 handful cashew nuts
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp provencial herbs
- 1 pinch salt fine
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Finely chop onion. Roughly chop fennel.
- Fry onions and fennel in olive oil.
- Add brown sugar and a splash of water.
Keep frying until sugar has melted, water evaporated and the vegetables have started to brown.
- Add rice, soy sauce, lemon juice, water and stock powder. Stir well.
- Put on the lid, bring up to pressure, cook under high pressure for 5 minutes. Let pressure release naturally.
- While risotto is cooking, fry the cashews with herbs in olive oil. Stir frequently until brown. Sprinkle on garlic powder & salt, stir through.