1 fennel bulb with stalks and leaves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cloves garlic
400g arborio rice
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp dried thyme
Cornish sea salt
2 pints vegetable stock
2 tins coconut milk
Image courtesy of John Hersey
Preheat oven to 180 oC.
Peel squash and chop into bite size pieces.
Cut stalks and leaves from fennel bulb and set aside.
Slice fennel bulb into narrow pieces approximately 5cm long.
Place squash and chopped fennel bulb into baking trays (use two trays if there is too much to spread into one layer). Drizzle over olive oil, season with salt, pepper and cinnamon, and grate the lemon rinds into the baking tray(s). Give a good mix then place in oven for 30 minutes until just starting to brown – check and turn a few times during cooking. Remove from oven when ready.
Finely chop onion, garlic and fennel stalks and leaves, reserving a few fennel leaves as garnish.
Put 4 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan, add the chopped onion, garlic and fennel and cook slowly for approximately 15 minutes until they soften.
Prepare stock in a jug.
Add 4 tsp dried thyme and 1 tsp cayenne pepper along with salt and pepper to vegetables, and stir well.
When vegetables have softened, add the rice. Keep stirring until the rice starts to become translucent.
Add the stock, a couple of ladles at a time, keep stirring and adding stock until it is nearly absorbed by the rice then add coconut milk in stages, continuing to stir regularly.
After approximately 20 minutes when there is still a little liquid left and the rice has a slight bite, remove from heat.
Stir in half of the roasted squash and fennel, and the juice of 2 lemons. Check seasoning then place lid on pan and leave to sit for five minutes.
Place a portion of risotto in each bowl, top with remainder of roasted squash and fennel, decorate with fennel leaves and finish with cracked pepper.