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Risotto with Fennel & Peas
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Two methods are included here for this subtly flavored risotto. For the conventional method, chicken broth is added a little at a time and the rice is stirred between additions. The microwave technique does not need constant stirring. It also uses less chicken stock because there is less evaporation during cooking.”
2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
5-6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and chopped (2 cups)
2Blanch carrots in boiling water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain. Heat broth in a medium saucepan until simmering; keep warm.
3Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other wide saucepan over low heat. Add fennel and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add rice and stir for 1 minute to coat grains. Add wine and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add ½ cup chicken broth and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes. Continue adding the broth, about ½ cup at a time, and cooking, stirring frequently, until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, about 15 minutes. Add peas and the cooked carrots. Stir in cheese and Pernod, if using. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
5Combine carrots with 2 tablespoons water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with vented plastic wrap and microwave on High until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Combine 4 cups broth and wine in a 4-cup glass measuring cup and microwave on High until simmering, 5 to 6 minutes.
6Stir together oil, fennel and onions in a 3-quart microwave-safe casserole. Microwave, uncovered, on High until vegetables have softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring once. Add rice; stir to coat the grains. Pour in the chicken-broth mixture, cover with lid or vented plastic wrap, and microwave on High until boiling, 5 to 6 minutes. Microwave on Medium until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating once if necessary. Add peas and the cooked carrots. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and Pernod, if using. Season with salt and pepper and serve.