Vodka-infused Cherry Tomato and Fennel Risotto

For a sophisticated meal try David Massey's deliciously flavourful and decidedly tipsy risotto - great for dinner parties
By David Massey
Vodka-infused Cherry Tomato and Fennel Risotto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus soaking overnight
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

main

  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 175 ml vodka
  • 2 bulb fennel, with green tops
  • juice of 1 lemons
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • 900 ml chicken stock, heated
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 200 g risotto rice
  • 75 g parmesan, grated

Method

1. Wash the cherry tomatoes and place in a bowl. Pour over the vodka, cover and set aside overnight.

2. Remove and discard the outer layer of the fennel bulbs. Finely chop the central bulb and set aside to soak in the lemon juice. Chop the fennel fronds and set aside.

3. In a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic, dried chilli and fennel seeds with a teaspoon of sea-salt.

4. Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan.

5. In a separate large, heavy-based saucepan heat 25g of butter and olive oil. Add the red onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.

6. Stir in the lemon-soaked fennel (reserving the lemon juice) and add a little of the vodka from the tomatoes.

7. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until the fennel softens. Add the risotto rice and stir well, coating the grains with the butter mixture.

8. Add the hot stock a ladle at a time and cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the stock. Repeat this process until the rice is al dente.

9. Add the vodka-soaked tomatoes and reserved lemon juice and mix in. Mix in the remaining butter and grated Parmesan. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve at once.

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