Fennel Risotto

Serves 4

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1 fennel bulb (about 12 oz.), quartered
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp ground saffron (optional)
2 Tbsps margarine, divided
2 Tbsps olive oil
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 cup Blue Ribbon® White Rice
2 Tbsps fennel tops, chopped (reserved for garnish)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
salt, to taste

Cooking Directions

Soak quartered fennel in ice water, drain well and pat dry. Chop uniformly and set aside.

Heat chicken broth in a saucepan until boiling, maintaining a steady simmer. Add saffron. Heat 1 tablespoon of margarine and oil in a heavy saucepan over low heat until melted. Add onion and sauté until tender. Add rice and chopped fennel bulb. Sauté 3 minutes. Add enough hot broth to cover the rice. Adjust heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, stirring constantly until broth has been absorbed. Add another cup of broth. Cook, stirring constantly until all broth has been absorbed. Continue adding broth 1 cup at a time, cooking and stirring. Stir in reserved fennel tops when rice is almost cooked. Cook until rice is creamy and firm. Total cooking time is about 25 minutes.

Remove from heat, add remaining margarine. Stir in grated cheese and salt; serve with extra cheese on the side.
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