I haven't posted new Instant Pot recipe for a while even though it's been getting a lot of use in my kitchen pretty much on daily basis. I love making risotto in the Instant Pot now although initially I was a bit sceptical but it really works. This Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto is a doddle to make in your IP or on the hob if you don't own one and it's a perfect mid week dinner your entire family will enjoy!
I don't know about you but I love fennel! I do enjoy it raw in salads and love its gorgeous aniseedy flavour and aroma. My hubby, on the other hand, is not a fan of aniseed and wasn't really looking forward to this dish at all! When I first made this risotto last year it was my first time cooking fennel and I wasn't sure what to expect flavour wise. Would it overpower the dish, would aniseed come through really strong? Well, I'm pleased to report that the aniseed flavour is there but it is really subtle and definitely not overpowering. My hubby and the kids really enjoyed it and we've had it numerous times since! Seasonal, delicious, creamy and full of goodness too! I thoroughly recommend you try it for yourself!
Risotto is one of those perfect mid week meals that can be made using pretty much anything you've got in your fridge and cupboards. Check out my other risotto offerings like this Leeks and Smoked Mackerel Risotto or if you are partial to some gorgeous chorizo you will love this Butternut Squash and Chorizo Risotto. For some more Spring flavours and new asparagus season around the corner try this Asparagus & Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto.
I love using homemade chicken stock in my risottos! If you are not vegetarian feel free to check out my guide on How To Make Chicken Stock in Instant Pot (with instructions for hob/stovetop users too). You will never look back!
Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto
- 300 g short grain risotto rice I used arborio
- 2 leeks cleaned and thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 fennel quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 ltr hot vegetable stock from cube is fine
- 25 g unsalted butter or ghee (clarified butter)
- 50 g parmesan grated
- 1 lemon (zest of whole lemon and juice of half a lemon)
- parmesan rind optional
- salt & pepper
- fennel fronds saved for garnish
- Melt butter in the Instant Pot using Sauté function (it should be set on High, 30min) and fry thinly sliced leek and celery for couple of minutes until they start to get soft and translucent but not coloured. Make sure you stir now and again to prevent them from catching.
- Add sliced fennel and garlic and let these fry for another minute or so before adding rice. Once rice has been added stir everything really well as we want for the rice to be coated in buttery veggies mixture. Turn the pot off by pressing Keep Warm/Cancel button.
- Pour in a little bit of stock at first to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Give it a good scrape with the wooden spoon to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom. Add all of the remaining stock and stir well.
- Put on the lid and lock it in place making sure that the black, steam releasing valve is pointing to "Sealing". Set your Instant Pot to "Manual" on High setting for 7 min.
- When the time is up turn the pot off by pressing Keep Warm/Cancel button and move the black, steam releasing valve to "Venting" which will release the pressure straight away (QPR - Quick Pressure Release). Take care not to scald yourself with hot steam when moving the valve.
- Take off the lid and add juice of half a lemon (or to taste),lemon zest and grated parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Let risotto stand for 5 minutes before serving it with crusty garlic bread and some fennel fronds as garnish!
Traditional "on the hob" cooking method
- Follow the instructions for frying vegetables as above.
- Add rice and stir it well making sure it's well coated in buttery veggies mixture.
- Slowly start adding your stock (ladle at a time) for approx 16-20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Make sure you stir your rice well each time you add the stock. You want the rice to have slight bite to it.
- Once you are happy with consistency of your risotto add juice of half a lemon (or to taste), lemon zest and grated parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Let risotto stand for 5 minutes before serving it with crusty garlic bread and some fennel fronds as garnish!
- I find the consistency of finished risotto perfect especially after it had a chance to rest for 5 min before serving. However, if you find it too "wet" for your liking, try stirring it first and if you still find it a bit "sloppy" turn on the Sauté function and let it reduce slightly.
- I'm a huge fan of ghee (clarified butter) when sautéing vegetables for risotto as unlike regular butter it doesn't burn. However, if you don't have ghee simply use regular, unsalted butter with a teaspoon or so of oil to prevent butter from burning.
- I always keep my leftover parmesan rinds in the fridge to add to soups, stews and risottos when cooking for added flavour. Feel free to leave it out!
Have you tried my Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, I love reading them!
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