spring vegetable risotto with a poached egg

March 19, 2014 § 73 Comments

Here is  delicious spring risotto recipe.  Crispy fennel, sweet nutty cremini mushrooms, garlic and spring leeks all together with creamy Parmigiano-Reggiano risotto and an egg on top.  My last recipe I posted had an egg on top too!  Must be the warm spring air and the thought of chicken’s laying fresh eggs giving me inspiration.  Or maybe it’s because I have cut back a bit on my meat consumption and the eggs are a source of protein I so often crave.  Whatever the reason it doesn’t matter because honestly, the egg was a love match with this risotto.  A perfect union.


Risotto can seem so daunting to prepare.  Standing over a pot midweek and continuously stirring for twenty minutes can seem a bit much for some.  However, once all the ingredients are chopped and prepped it is quite effortless.    There is something to be said about being organized in the kitchen.  It certainly makes for a much better cooking experience and this goes together quite smoothly when you gather all your ingredients and prep them before heating your pot.


Refashioned from Bon Appétit… serves 4, generously.

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 4 large fresh eggs
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 pound crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, white only, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • handful of baby spinach leaves, cleaned and dried
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen (thawed) peas
  • 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for shaving
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, snipped
  • Freshly ground black pepper

M e t h o d

Bring a large skillet of salted water to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Add vinegar. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, then slide into simmering water. Repeat with 3 more eggs. Cook until whites are cooked but yolks are runny, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water.

Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large, wide heavy pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl.
Heat oil and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same pot over medium heat. Add leeks, fennel, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until evaporated, about 4 minutes.  Add 1 cup broth. Cook, stirring often (no need to stir constantly), until broth is almost absorbed.  Add remaining broth by ladlefuls, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more, stirring often, until rice is tender but still firm to the bite and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total.  Add spinach, greek yogurt, 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, snipped chives, peas and mushrooms to risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Season risotto with salt.  A few minutes before risotto is done, reheat poached eggs in a large skillet of simmering water, about 1 minute.  Divide risotto among bowls and top with eggs, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, chives, and pepper.


soft goat cheese and fennel pie

December 23, 2013 § 68 Comments

We prepared this savory pie for dinner the other night and if you are in need of an aromatherapy session this is your answer.  Your whole house will have a lovely scent of fennel and roasted walnuts.  It is perfect for a casual weekend lunch or as a vegetarian option for entertaining.  We enjoy a savory pie for breakfast on Christmas morning.  You can make it the night before, refrigerate and reheat in the morning.  Awww the smell…


I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 3 fennel bulbs, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7 oz. soft goat cheese, roughly crumbled
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 light cream
  • 2 tablespoon chopped scallions
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • your basic regular pie crust recipe

M e t h o d 

Preheat oven 350°F.  Put the fennel bulb wedges on a roasting pan, add the olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, turning after 20 minutes, until golden and tender.  Let cool to room temperature.  Prepare your pie crust while the fennel is in the oven roasting.

Once the fennel has cooled arrange onto the pie shell and scatter the cheese and walnuts randomly over and in between the pieces of fennel.  Put the eggs, cream, and scallions in a bowl.  Whisk with a fork to combine, season well and pour over the fennel.  Bake in the still-hot oven for about 45 minutes, until golden on top.  Serve the pie at room temperature.  Delicious with a lightly dressed arugula salad on the side.

lamb chops with minted pea mash

May 28, 2013 § 36 Comments

It is still cool and rainy here in Seattle.  Memorial Day usually inspires outdoor grilling, however, the rain never stopped yesterday.  Turned out to be a  perfect day to grill indoors and perhaps make a fennel and gruyére gratin.  This was the first time I cooked lamb and it was delicious.  I always thought  in order to have succulent lamb it needed to be braised for hours in a stew.  We used the most simplest stove top grilling technique and we were pleasantly surprised how well it turned out.  I wonder how many other cooking misconceptions I have!  The fennel gratin was a perfect accompaniment to this dinner.  Unlike a potato gratin the fennel is light and the gruyére gave it a comforting element needed for a cool rainy day.


Served with a minted pea mash and  a fennel gruyère gratin.


  • 2-3 lamb cutlets
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • a few wedges of lemon and/or fresh mint to serve


Heat a ridged grill pan and brush both sides of lamb with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Cook the cutlets over high heat until browned on both sides.  I cooked for 4 minutes each side and they were medium rare.


This was suppose to be a mint puree.  It turned out a little thicker than I expected and instead of thinning it out I decided to keep the consistency as a mash.  Very enjoyable.  I seem to have been a little stuck on peas and mint lately in my posting.  I just love using what is in season and freshly harvested.


  • 8 oz. of fresh peas
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • sprinkling of salt and pepper
  • about 8 mint leaves
  • 1 squeeze of lemon


Cook the peas in boiling water until tender, then drain.  Stir in the butter until it melts.  Transfer peas to a blender or food processor.  Add the cream, salt and pepper, mint leaves and lemon juice and blend until smooth.  Serve warm.


f e n n e l   a n d   g r u y è r e    g r a t i n


  • 3 fennel bulb, trimmed of outer leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated gruyère cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 400°.  Trim the fennel tops and save any feathery fronds for later.  Quarter the bulbs and cook in lightly salted boiling water for 5 minutes until tender.  Drain well and place the fennel in a buttered gratin dish.  Sprinkle the reserved fronds on top.  Season with salt and pepper, pour on the cream and sprinkle with cheeses.  Bake for 20 minutes.  I sprinkled a few uncooked fronds on top after baking.


Serves 4

buon appetite.

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