Caramelized Onion and Fennel Risotto


  • 1 small bulb fennel, sliced thin
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided (use Earth Balance to make it vegan)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  •  Handful of fresh parsley, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, heated
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese (omit Parmesan to make it vegan)


  1. In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. When butter is melted, add sliced onion and fennel and stir until coated. Cover the pan and cook slowly until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt and sugar. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently until onions are dark brown, about 25-30 minutes.
  2. Simmer broth in a separate pot on the stove.
  3. To the onions and fennel, add garlic, Arborio rice and herbs. Cook, stirring frequently until the rice is translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until fully absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. When the wine is fully absorbed, add 2 cups hot broth and simmer, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes until liquid is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Stir in another 1/2 cup of hot broth and cook, stirring constantly until absorbed. Repeat with additional broth 2 or 3 more times, until rice is al dente. Remove risotto from heat and stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and Parmesan. Serve.

By Tara Parker-Pope

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