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Fennel Breakfast Risotto

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 35 min

Servings: 6

Recipe By: Isa Chandra Moskowitz

From:  Vegan Brunch
Used with permission of Da Capo Lifelong Books

Other Breakfast & Brunch
Other Side Dishes
Other Vegetarian Main Dishes

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Fennel Breakfast Risotto

I have a long-standing love affair with rice for breakfast, but I could never get behind those quaint recipes that tell you to eat sweetened rice and cinnamon like you would oatmeal. No thanks, save the rice pudding for dessert. Savory is where it's at. Risotto may seem like a bit too much stirring for the morning, but have your coffee, put on some music, and go for it -- I promise it's worth the effort. Spiked with fennel for a bit of a sausage-y flavor, this melt-in-your-mouth risotto is a warm auburn color. It's delicious as an entree, or as a side dish instead of potatoes.

6 cups vegetable broth powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1  large bell pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups finely chopped shallots
4 cloves garlic,, minced
2 tablespoons fennel seeds, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
 a few dashes fresh black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
4 leaves fresh sage, chopped (optional)
Warm the vegetable broth in a saucepan. Keep it warm on the lowest setting possible as you prepare the risotto.

Preheat a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the red bell pepper and shallots in the oil for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, thyme, and pepper and sauté 2 minutes more.

Add the wine and salt, then turn the heat up so that the wine boils and reduces -- about 2 minutes. Lower the heat back to medium.

Add the rice and stir for about 2 minutes. The rice should soak up the liquid from the pot and become light brown. Add the broth by the cupful, stirring the risotto after each addition until the broth is mostly absorbed (6 to 8 minutes). If the broth isn't absorbing, raise the heat a bit. It absorbs faster as the rice gets more and more tender.

With your last addition of broth, add the sage, adjust salt and pepper if needed, and stir. Serve when broth is mostly absorbed but the rice is still creamy.

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