Fennel & chilli risotto with bulgur

Spice up your night in with this warming bowl, which makes your house smell of wine, butter and fennel… yes please?

Three dried chillies (seeds in) gives the fennel a kick without masking its beautiful delicate flavour.




Serves 2.

  • 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs
  • 1 white onion or large shallot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • 100g arborio rice
  • 50g bulgur wheat
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • 500ml boiling water or vegetable stock
  • Dried chillies (I use 3)
  • Rind of 1/2 lemon
  • Garlic granules
  • Salt & pepper




  1. First prepare the fennel; chop off the stalks and fronds and discard. Then chop the bulb into strips. Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the fennel, then season with some salt, pepper and garlic granules if you desire a more garlicky finish. Fry until softened.
  2. Chop chunkily the onion and finely the garlic. In a large pan, add a good glug of olive oil and about a tablespoon of butter and heat. Add in the onion and fry for a few minutes before adding in the garlic clove. Fry for a further minute then add in the rice and bulgur. Stir well to coat all the grains and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Pour in the white wine and cook to reduce. In this time, add in your dried chillies and season well with black pepper.
  4. Now stir very attentively as you gradually add the stock or hot water. Add about a cup-ful at a time, and top up with liquid as required. Continue until the rice is almost soft. Before it’s fully cooked, add in the fried fennel.
  5. When your risotto is your desired softness, stir in the lemon rind before serving.





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