Crockpot Risotto

2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, cored and finely diced, plus 2 tablespoons chopped tops of fronds
1 cup pearl barley, or short-grain brown rice
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups low sodium fat free chicken broth,
1 to 1-1/2 cups water, divided
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 cups frozen  pea's or  green beans (optional)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pitted oil-cured black olives or calamatta, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

 Coat a 4-quart or larger crock pot with cooking spray oil. Crush fennel seeds with the bottom of a saucepan. Combine the fennel seeds, diced fennel, barley,  carrot, shallot and garlic in the crock pot. Add broth, 1 cup water and wine, and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the barley (or rice) is tender, but still chewy and the risotto is thick and creamy, 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours on high or low.
 One half hour before risotto is cooked, cook pea's or green beans per directions. Add the  beans, Parmesan, olives, lemon zest and pepper into the risotto. If it seems dry, heat the remaining 1/2 cup water and stir it into the risotto. Serve with boiled shrimps on top and fennel fronds.


I would never have thought of preparing risotto in the slow cooker, this is such a great idea! I love your use of fennel. I fell in love with it this summer when I kept receiving it in my CSA and I'm glad I used it.
Claudia said…
Not only is this delicious and healthy - but you made it in a crockpot - the grandest idea ever. You have me thinking how to lessen my load and still come up with scrumptious stuff!
Sandra said…
Risotto sounds awesome! And I love your Fennel photo!
Unknown said…
I love crock pot recipes!! This sounds so tasty and I think it would work in my smaller crock pot (5 quart)....I am saving this one for future use!!
Belinda @zomppa said…
I never thought to do risotto in a crockpot...hmm....
Anonymous said…
What a creative idea! I have to try it!
Anonymous said…
Claudia we are on the same page today ...I made risotto too....fennel is great idea to add, nice job:)
Ang said…
I would have never known you could do risotto in the crock pot. How cool is that! Thanks for sharing as always:)
Magic of Spice said…
I have never tried risotto in a Crockpot...what a great recipe!
Hope your week is going well :)
Unknown said…
That 's an original one! well done!
never tried either:((
Nancy said…
Wow, sounds delicious! Crockpots sound like the perfect do-everything-in kitchen gadget.
This is a great shortcut to making risotto. Usually you add broth in stages and stir until thickened. Yes-I no longer have to babysit at the stove! Thanks for giving me a little more time outside the kitchen, while still being able to have risotto- buzz.
WOW! I've never thought of making risotto in a crock pot...but this looks excellent, Claudia!
Anonymous said…
Wow! Who knew you could make risotto in a crockpot?! This I must try!
purabi naha said…
wow, risotto in a crockpot? The dish looks beautiful and yummy! I think I should keep your blog bookmarked for my next party menu!
Unknown said…
Looks great, though I doubt I could deal with keeping my crockpot on that long in the summer! Might be worth it for risotto though
Anonymous said…
SO clever to make risotto in the crock-pot! I love it!
Kate@Diethood said…
Risotto in my slow cooker?! YES! Great idea, Claudia!
Deborah Dowd said…
For a foodie I have to admit that risotto is something I have never made, but in a crockpot? Maybe even I could make a go of it.
Erin said…
I have seen risotto made in a crockpot one other time, and wasn't sure how it would be. Looks good!
Risotto is always wonderful in so many different versions...this sounds like a great one!

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