Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 26, 2012

Fennel and pea risotto

When I was in Helsinki I ate fennel and pea risotto. It was delicious. The fennel in Italy is plentiful so I experimented with my own recipe.

I chopped some fennel and some spring onions.


I fried them gently in olive oil, being careful not to let them turn brown. Then I added arborio rice and stirred to coat the rice with oil.


I then added hot stock a little at a time until the rice had absorbed enough to make it tender, but not too soft.


In the meantime I cooked the peas briefly. It is too early for fresh peas, so I used frozen ones.


I kept some whole peas aside and pureed the rest.


I added the pureed peas to the rice and continued to cook until the rice was ready.


I then added the whole peas and stirred until they were heated through. I added some butter, grated Parmesan cheese and put it in a serving bowl.


And then I ate it. It didn’t look like the risotto I had in Helsinki, but it tasted excellent.


  1. Yum! My belly is rumbling. The recipe looks simple and scrumptious! The step-by-step pictures make the food look very appealing. I think I’ll go to the grocer shop and get the ingredients for tonight’s dinner. 🙂

    • I love risotto and this one is easy to make and very good.

  2. I was going to do risotto for dinner, really want it now after seeing this. Yummy!

    • In Brisbane I often make risotto with lovely big prawns…..yum!

  3. Risotto is a lovely at any time especially autunno!

    • I eat it all year with different additions.

  4. There is a traditional Venetian rice dish called “risk e bisi” which accepts several variations, such as the addition of prosciutto or pancetta, parsley, half a glass of wine… this is the first time I hear about fennel… but it sounds delicious!!! I would suggest to add,at the very last minute some small strips of smoked salmon and you could really name it “finnisotto”…

    • Sorry… typing error, it is “risi e bisi”. My tablet does strange things whenever y use words that are not in English…

    • Smoked salmon would be an excellent addition.

  5. Delicious Debra! I like your simple approach and the puree-ing of the peas would make it especially smooth…. Are the asparagi in season yet over there? I’m putting in an early request for your version of risotto with new asparagus, if you’re a fan of course!

    • I made it again and added some stock to the peas before I pureed them and got a much smoother mixture. I also roasted some extra fennel and added it at the end.
      I love asparagus. I will try to find some of the tiny wild asparagus to cook with.

      • Yes the fine spindly asparagus we don’t seem to have in Australia. Sono buonissimi!

      • It should be in the markets soon. I love it.

  6. Just stunning, the food and the magnolias – March is looking like a perfect time to visit and Carolyn’s B&B would be perfect for a month of travel, food, good wine and company and of course quiet writing time.

    • Give Caroline a call, I’m sure she would love to see you in March.

  7. BEAUTIFUL!! That green is delightful. Mi viene l’acquolina in bocca! We have fresh peas in Milan already! They are so perfectly spring-y, aren’t they? Thanks for the inspiration.

    • I love fresh peas! I saw some today at the markets in Lucca. I like to eat them raw as well.

  8. Sounds delicious! … especially since I adore fennel.

  9. Sounds yummy. I can’t wait for the fresh peas, though most get eaten raw in our house, but I’ll try and bag some and try this combiantion.

  10. My mother used to make me whistle when she got me to shell peas. If I went quiet she knew I was eating them.

  11. It sounds divine, never mind how it looks! I never would have thought to purĂ©e some of the peas, but I can see how this would give it extra depth of texture. Lovely, it’s in the recipe bank 🙂 Thanks!

    • My second effort was better. It will become a regular.

  12. how delicious and springy! I mean spring- like, oh you know what I mean. I am going to grow fennel this year and have finally found a bulb variety, if I do I will make your dish 🙂

    • I love fennel and it is so good here.

  13. I can’t wait to try this recipe .
    I often cook risotto (with a few different variations)
    and my family all love it.
    I have never done it with fennel before , it sounds
    Next time you make it , just before you start adding
    the stock , turn the heat up and add half a cup of
    dry vermouth and let it evaporate, before turning the
    heat down again. you will love the smell and the taste
    afterwards .

    • I will definitely try the vermouth. Thanks for the tip.

  14. Looks tasty! The peas that we had in Finland were so sweet and juicy 🙂

    • They are excellent here too.

  15. Love making risotto, so I’ll be trying it, Debra, though not too often since we’re on a weight-losing campaign at the moment. Got to look good on those Dutch bikes.

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