For an easy fall dinner recipe, this sage risotto with fennel is a must. It’s rich, creamy, and topped with charred fennel and tomatoes.
This sage risotto is so easy to prepare, though it does take some time stirring and stirring and stirring. You only need a few ingredients but this meal is loaded with delicious, warm, and comforting flavors.
The basis of this recipe is simple: start with an easy risotto and as it finishes cooking, fry fennel and tomatoes in hot oil until charred. Remove them from the skillet and then fry up a few additional sage leaves as a crispy, flavorful garnish. You’re going to absolutely love this comforting easy fall dinner recipe!
How to make this sage risotto with fennel:
First, prepare the risotto. Simply sauté a shallot and then add butter. Once the butter is melted and frothy, add minced sage leaves and cook them for 45 seconds. Next, add arborio or carnaroli rice and cook until toasted, about 2 minutes.
From there, simply alternate ladling in warm stock or water with stirring. Ensure the liquid is mostly absorbed before adding more. You will need anywhere from 4–6 cups of liquid. Continue agitating the rice as it cooks so that it releases that starchy goodness.
A few minutes before the risotto finishes cooking, heat a bit of oil in a skillet. Add the fennel and cook without moving for 3–4 minutes. Next, add quartered Campari tomatoes and cook for another 5–6 minutes until they begin to char around the edges. Transfer them to a bowl and wipe out the skillet.
To finish the dish, simply heat a bit more oil in the skillet. Once it’s hot, add the sage leaves and cook for 30–45 seconds until crispy. Remove them from the skillet and immediately season with salt.
Serve it up by spooning the risotto into shallow bowls and piling the tomatoes and fennel on top. Drizzle any excess liquid from the tomatoes over the risotto and finish each dish with a sage leaf.
Did you love this risotto dinner recipe? Looking for more rice recipes? Check my archives!
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Sage Risotto with Fennel
- Large pot
- 2 tablespoons plus teaspoons neutral oil divided
- 2 shallots peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- .1 ounce sage leaves about 12 leaves, divided
- 1 cup carnaroli or arborio rice
- 4–6 cups warm water or stock
- 1 small fennel bulb cored and thinly sliced
- 1 pint Campari tomatoes quartered
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the sage:
- Mince all but 4 of the sage leaves and set them aside.
Start the risotto:
- Heat 2 teaspoons of neutral oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes until softened.
- Melt the butter into the shallots. Once frothy, add the minced sage leaves and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the rice and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes until the rice begins to toast slightly. Sprinkle everything lightly with salt and pepper.
- Ladle in one cup of warm water or stock and stir every few minutes until the water is mostly absorbed. Continue alternating adding one cup of water at a time, stirring between each addition. Only add more liquid as the liquid becomes absorbed by the rice. Continue for 30 minutes, stirring regularly, until all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender and creamy—taste and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and allow the risotto to rest for 5 minutes.
Cook the fennel and tomatoes:
- Before the risotto finishes cooking, prepare the fennel and tomatoes—heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fennel and cook without moving for 4–5 minutes. Flip and add the tomatoes and spread them into an even layer. Cook for an additional 5–6 minutes until the tomatoes begin to char around the edge. Spoon the fennel and tomatoes into a bowl and wipe out the skillet.
Fry the sage leaves:
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet over high heat. Once hot, add the sage leaves in an even layer and cook for 45 seconds until crispy. Immediately transfer to a paper towel and season with salt.
- Divide the warm risotto between shallow bowls and pile the tomatoes and fennel on top. Garnish with a crispy sage leaf and spoon any extra tomato juice from the bowl over each dish. Enjoy!