Saffron Risotto with Orange-Glazed Fennel

Saffron Risotto

with Orange-Glazed Fennel

40 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

We’re giving risotto—a classic, creamy rice dish from northern Italy—a few sophisticated twists. A pinch of saffron stirred into the rice as it cooks adds flavor and sunny color. To finish, we’re topping each bowl with roasted fennel, glazed with fresh orange juice for more sweetness.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    650 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
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tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard any stems from the fennel. Halve the bulb lengthwise; cut out and discard the core, then thinly slice. Peel and finely chop the shallot. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Halve the orange; squeeze the juice into a bowl, straining out any seeds.

Roast the fennel:
2 Roast the fennel:

Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place the sliced fennel on the foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 17 to 19 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.

Start the risotto:
3 Start the risotto:

While the fennel roasts, in a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped shallot and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened and fragrant. Add the rice; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lighlty browned. Add the verjus. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the liquid has cooked off.

Finish the risotto:
4 Finish the risotto:

Add the saffron and 3 ½ cups of water to the pot; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, 16 to 18 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone cheese and half the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Glaze the fennel:
5 Glaze the fennel:

Once the risotto has cooked for about 15 minutes, in a medium pan, combine the orange juice, remaining butter, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently and swirling the pan, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened and the butter is melted. Turn off the heat. Add the roasted fennel and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve your dish:
6 Serve your dish:

Serve the finished risotto topped with the glazed fennel and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard any stems from the fennel. Halve the bulb lengthwise; cut out and discard the core, then thinly slice. Peel and finely chop the shallot. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Halve the orange; squeeze the juice into a bowl, straining out any seeds.

2 Roast the fennel:

Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place the sliced fennel on the foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 17 to 19 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.

Roast the fennel:
Start the risotto:
3 Start the risotto:

While the fennel roasts, in a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped shallot and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened and fragrant. Add the rice; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lighlty browned. Add the verjus. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the liquid has cooked off.

4 Finish the risotto:

Add the saffron and 3 ½ cups of water to the pot; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, 16 to 18 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone cheese and half the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finish the risotto:
Glaze the fennel:
5 Glaze the fennel:

Once the risotto has cooked for about 15 minutes, in a medium pan, combine the orange juice, remaining butter, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently and swirling the pan, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened and the butter is melted. Turn off the heat. Add the roasted fennel and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Serve your dish:

Serve the finished risotto topped with the glazed fennel and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Serve your dish:
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