These delicious dishes are perfect for easy spring entertaining
- 45g butter
- 30ml olive oil
- 1 onion or 2 shallots, finely diced
- 2 leeks, thinly sliced
- 1 small fennel bulb, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 250g risotto rice, such as Arborio
- 125ml dry white wine
- 3 baby marrows, chopped
- 600–750ml hot vegetable or chicken stock
- 150g frozen peas
- 100g artichoke hearts in olive oil, sliced
- 5ml lemon zest, finely grated
- 50g + 30g Parmesan cheese
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 5ml fennel fronds, chopped
- Melt the butter and olive oil in a large heavy-based pan. Gently fry the onion, leeks, fennel and garlic for 4–5 minutes.
- Add the risotto rice, stirring well to ensure all of the grains are coated in the buttery mixture.
- Increase the heat and add the wine, stirring well, until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the baby marrows.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add a ladle full of hot stock, gently stirring until it’s all been absorbed, before repeating with another ladle full of stock; continue cooking and adding stock until the rice is just tender.
- At this point, stir in the peas, artichoke hearts, lemon zest and 50g finely grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve the risotto in warm serving bowls and top with the remaining cheese, either grated or shavings, and the chopped fennel. Serve at once.
COOK’S NOTE: For a non-vegetarian option, top the risotto with seared scallops or grilled prawns.