Risotto with Tomatoes and Fennel

2011 Jan/Feb

Bern Glatz’s (of Una Pizza) take on this classic dish is uncomplicated and colourful. It relies on perfect produce, treated gently.


  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 c. vialone nano rice
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 6 – 8 c. warm vegetable stock
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, finely shaved
  • a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped into bite size
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 – 2 T. cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. basil leaves


Heat the oil in a shallow pan and add the onion. Cook over medium heat until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir well, frying for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine, stirring, and cook until the wine’s aroma has dissipated and the liquid is mostly absorbed. Add stock in 1-cup increments, stirring each addition until it is almost all absorbed. When the rice is nearly cooked, heat a sauté pan, add oil and fry the fennel until tender. Add the fennel to the risotto and mix gently with a little more stock. Add the tomatoes, a bit more stock and a little salt. Stir and taste. Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes. Vigorously stir in the butter, then the cheese. Gently stir in the basil and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.