21 Jan 2013

Fennel Risotto and Tri-Colour Ciabatta - Meat Free Monday

Meat Free Monday - Summer Week 8 - 
Fennel Risotto and Tri-colour Ciabatta

Week 1 of cooking my way through Meat Free Monday!!

I wanted to do it properly, I really did, but you just can't buy baby artichokes in deepest Sydney suburbia! So I combined 2 of their recipes and came up with a great Fennel Risotto. 

I also tried their packed lunch option of a ciabatta with tomato, avacado and buffalo mozarella. It was fabulous and one to be repeated for sure. 

Their full menu has:
Breakfast - Mango and Lime - Yum
Packed Lunch - Tri-colour Ciabatta (see below)
Home Lunch - Stuffed Tomatoes with Gruyere (sounds great - would like to try some time.)
side dish - Basil scented braised Fennel  
Dinner - Risotto with Artichokes (see my variation below)
Dessert - Fruity Amaretti (really meant to make this, even made the ricotta from scratch - but time got away from me - I will try it sometime soon and let you know how it goes.)

Risotto with Artichokes  Fennel


(Serves 4 - but only just)

3 baby Fennel, finely sliced
2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
2 Tb Olive Oil
1 litre Vegetable Stock
75g Butter
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
300g Arborio Rice
3-4 Tb white wine
75g freshly grated parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


* Gently heat vegetable stock in a saucepan

* Melt 1/2 the butter with the olive oil in a heavy based pan. Gently fry the onion, garlic and fennel until soft - about 10 minutes - stirring now and then.

* Add the rice and stir until it is coated in oil.

* Add the wine and stir until it has been absorbed.

* Start adding the hot stock a ladleful at a time, stir until it is absorbed, then continue with next one. Over about 15 minutes all stock should be absorbed and the rice should be creamy on the outside and slightly al dente in the middle.

* Gently stir in the remaining butter and parmesan and serve immediately.

* I suggest serving with a green salad with a tangy dressing to offset the richness of the risotto.

Tri-colour Ciabatta

serves 1 

A small Ciabatta Roll
a little extra virgin olive oil
1 tomato, sliced
1 avacado, sliced
1/2 a ball of fresh mozzarella (or  a few baby bocconcini)
A few basil leaves
freshly ground salt and pepper


* Cut Ciabatta in half and toast under the grill.

* Drizzle a little olive oil over the roll.

* Layer some tomato and avacado slices on one side of the roll

* Tear the mozzarella over the top (you could slice it but tearing it was fun and sounds good)

* Top with some salt and pepper and some basil leaves, and the top of the roll.

* Pack and take to work to look forward to all morning (or eat straight away as I did being on holidays!)

Happy Meat Free Monday!

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