This seasonal risotto packs a punch with the taste of aromatic thyme-roasted celery, fennel seeds, chilli and mint. A perfect summer lunch recipe.
Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Put the celery in a roasting tin with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp thyme. Season and roast for 20 minutes or until softened, stirring halfway through.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a pan, add the onion, carrot, remaining thyme and a good pinch of salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, fennel seeds and chilli and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil, then pour in the wine and cook, stirring, until it evaporates. Add a couple of ladlefuls of stock and gently simmer, stirring frequently, until the stock is absorbed. Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time and stirring frequently, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
Stir in the celery and mint. Add the cheese and butter, cover and leave for a couple of minutes, until melted. To serve, divide the risotto between 4 bowls and scatter over the extra mint and celery leaves.
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