Risotto With Caramelized Fennel – Video Recipe

In the Herbivoracious cookbook, I’ve got a recipe for a risotto made with fresh corn and tomato confit (tomatoes that have been slowly roasted in the oven to concentrate their flavor). That recipe is perfect for late summer, but I was taping these videos in the fall, so I made a different version using the beautiful fennel I had available.

More important than the specific ingredients, though, is the method for making risotto. It isn’t at all difficult, but there are a few details which are probably easier to understand via video than the written word. Check it out and in no time you’ll be making creamy, tender (but never mushy) risottos packed with flavor.

You’ll see I finished the caramelized fennel risotto with a few drops of a very fine balsamic vinegar from ChefShop. These vinegars are the real deal – sweet/sour, complex, syrupy from years of aging in a series of wooden casks in Modena, Italy. As you can see from the link, they are costly, but you dole them out in very small amounts, so a bottle lasts a long time.

If you don’t have an aged balsamic, don’t try to substitute with a grocery store balsamic vinegar, just omit it. They aren’t the same thing at all. I think you should consider investing in the real deal though (and then don’t make salad dressing with it!)

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, April 16th, 2012 in Cooking Videos, Gluten-Free or modifiable, Recipes.

8 Responses to “Risotto With Caramelized Fennel – Video Recipe”

  1. Reply
    April 16, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    This looks great, Michael! A cooking forum I participate in had a long debate about risotto, posing the question: “Is it worthy of the hype?” The answer from most vegetarians was “no,” but the omnivores shared an enthusiastic “Yes!” Most of the vegetarians had tasted it at omni restaurants, which are usually pretty clueless about how to make vegetarian food taste good. The debate made me want to try it and this video makes it look less intimidating.

  2. Reply
    April 16, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    Hey Michael,
    Would it be possible for you to include the written recipe in your video recipe posts? It’d be nice to be able to follow along with the video. Also, it’s nice to still be able to read the recipe in my email during the morning and then be able to collect the ingredients and then go home and follow along with your video. Just a suggestion 🙂

    I can’t wait for your cookbook to come in the mail!

    • Reply
      April 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

      Hey Melissa – I know, I’m sorry I haven’t been including the recipes with the videos.. I simply haven’t had time to move them all over, though they are all in the cookbook – except this one! However you can base it on this risotto: link to herbivoracious.com – simply substituting the broth and using quickly pan-seared fennel for the topping.

  3. Reply
    April 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    I’m loving the videos. Would like to see the food closer up as it’s being cooked.

  4. Reply
    April 23, 2012 at 1:52 am #

    You’re right Michael, I love the way you make the video recipes because it is easier and interactive. Aside from the balsamic vinegar, would there be another vinegar substitute that would still fit the meal like black fig?

    • Reply
      April 23, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      Absolutely, if you have a thick/syrupy fig vinegar I think it would be fantastic on this dish. (If you have a thin one, try reducing it with some sugar.)

  5. Reply
    Caren Roma
    April 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Hey Michael, I was going to make an asparagus and leek risotto tonight for dinner and Scott forwarded this on. Super excited to try it with a touch of fig vinegar on top. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend.

    • Reply
      April 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

      I’m looking forward to catching up with you guys in SF too! Fig vin should be great on that.

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