This twist on the classic rice dish gets its flavour from the slow‐roasted onions, pureed and added to the risotto at the very end.
4 large brown onions, unpeeled
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 sticks celery, finely diced
1 baby fennel, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 bunch thyme, leaves picked
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 cup arborio rice
1L vegetable stock, hot
2 bunches chives, finely chopped
75g parmesan, finely grated
Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to season
Preheat oven to 160°C fan-forced (180°C conventional). Line an oven tray with baking paper. Rub onions with 1 Tbsp of the oil then arrange on prepared tray. Roast for 2 hours or until skins blacken and centres are very tender. Peel off skin and discard then puree onions in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a fine sieve and leave to drain.
Put celery, fennel, garlic, thyme, fennel seeds and remaining oil in a large heavy- based saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until softened. Add rice and cook for a further 4 minutes. Adding the vegetable stock 1⁄2 a cup at a time, allowing it to absorb before adding more. This will take 15–20 minutes.
Fold through roasted onion mixture, top with chives and parmesan. Season generously and serve.