Rating: 3.75 stars
16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 13
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1

This convenient alternative to traditional stovetop risotto uses healthy, fiber-rich whole grains--either barley or brown rice--seasoned with Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and oil-cured olives. The gentle, uniform heat of a slow cooker allows you to cook a creamy risotto without the usual frequent stirring.

Patsy Jamieson
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2008

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Recipe Summary

total:
3 hrs
Servings:
6
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Coat a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Crush fennel seeds with the bottom of a saucepan. Combine the fennel seeds, diced fennel, barley (or rice), carrot, shallot and garlic in the slow cooker. Add broth, 1 cup water and wine, and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the barley (or rice) is tender, but pleasantly chewy, and the risotto is thick and creamy, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours on high or low.

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  • Shortly before serving, cook green beans according to package instructions and drain. Turn off the slow cooker. Stir the green beans, Parmesan, olives, lemon zest and pepper into the risotto. If it seems dry, heat the remaining 1/2 cup water and stir it into the risotto. Serve sprinkled with the chopped fennel fronds.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare fennel, carrot, shallot and garlic. Combine broth, 1 cup water and wine. Refrigerate in separate covered containers for up to 1 day.

For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts

235 calories; protein 8.7g; carbohydrates 36.9g; dietary fiber 8.1g; sugars 3.9g; fat 5.3g; saturated fat 1.6g; cholesterol 5.7mg; vitamin a iu 2093.4IU; vitamin c 10.9mg; folate 26.7mcg; calcium 123.8mg; iron 1.8mg; magnesium 43.5mg; potassium 470.6mg; sodium 768.5mg; thiamin 0.1mg.
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Reviews (4)

16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 13
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This worked GREAT for us! We did have to do it on high for about 4 hours but the barely puffed up and it was wonderfully chewy. We added whatever veggies we had along with beans...peas and corn and even the kids loved it. A definite keeper. Slow Cooker Fan Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I agree slow-cooking for 4 hours on low does not work for this recipe. However on high works great! You can also cook it on the stove by simmering for 45 minutes. My family loved it! Add a piece of grilled fish on top and it is a wonderful meal! Brooke New York NY Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/21/2014
Flavorful creamy and simple I forgot the fennel seeds and didn't have a very large fennel bulb (replaced it with some onion instead) and we definitely missed the fennel flavor. Overall this turned out wonderfully! 8 hours on low in my 6 quart slow cooker was just right and it stayed just fine on warm for 5 hours after that. Next time I will definitely use the fennel seeds. The only other change would be maybe to leave out the olives. The barley did get very creamy and absorbed all of the liquid in the recipe by the end of the 8 hours. I imagine it would do fine on high for 4 instead as well. Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This recipe does not work. Five hours in the slow cooker and it's thin soup. Very frustrating. Subscriber Evanston IL Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Mine came out fine after 4 hours on high just the right consistency. However BEWARE if you are not a huge fennel fan - this dish is overpowered by the fennel flavor. I could barely eat it and my husband who really likes the flavor of liquorice (which is what fennel and fennel seed taste like) couldn't finish his whole serving. Maybe omitting the fennel seed would bring it down a notch or two but I probably won't make it again. I did like the idea of using barley for a risotto though so I might use this as a base with other vegetables. AR Hamden CT Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Have to agree: took 4.5 hours in the slow cooker before it was done. End result: strange-flavored glop. Not worth the effort. Subscriber Atlanta GA Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I should've read the comments before making this. The fennel is overpowering. The consistency was thing soup. Mel Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Delicious and Healthy Very tasty and my husband loved it! I added two more carrots and topped with fresh tarragon. I will definitely make it again. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
10/29/2011
I agrree should have read comments first Like most i didnt read comments first i agree too long to cook bland and fennel over powers. If I tried it again I would cut back on fennel and water and increase cheese a little. Pros: change from typical rice and potatoe Cons: fennel over powering; too long to cook Read More