Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

Fennel, Kale and Spinach Risotto

Fennel, Kale and Spinach Risotto - The Duo Dishes.jpg

The more veggies, the better, right? This risotto is a green-veg packed version of an Italian classic, risotto. Onions, fennel, celery and garlic form the base of the dish, but it’s the fresh kale and spinach that add body and earthy flavor to the rice. This is a meatless meal that comes together in about 30 minutes, so you can have dinner on the table quickly. It is great on its own or as a side dish to a larger meal.

For the full post, head over to The Duo Dishes.

Fennel, Kale and Spinach Risotto – Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup arborio rice
½ cup white wine
2 – 2½ cups vegetable or chicken stock, warm
1 cup kale leaves
1 cup spinach leaves
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Fine sea salt and black pepper, to taste

In a sturdy, wide sauce pan, heat the olive oil over a medium flame. Once hot, add the onion, fennel and celery. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Pour in the arborio rice and stir into the vegetables, coating each grain with the oil. Once the grains are semi-translucent, pour in the white wine. Cook, stirring often, until the wine evaporates. Working in batches ½ cup at a time, add the first 1½ – 2 cups of stock, cooking until each round of liquid nearly disappears. (Taste a few grains of rice to check texture as you go along. The rice should be al dente with a very slight bite similar to perfectly cooked pasta.)

Add the kale and spinach just before the final addition of stock. Stir the veggies into the rice, then add another ½ cup of liquid. Once almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, stir in the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, then serve immediately.

Chrystal Baker is a freelance culinary assistant, blogger, and food and events contributor for CBS Los Angeles and Basil Magazine. She is the creator of the recipe blog, The Duo Dishes, as well as her personal site, Any and Everywhere.

About The Duo Dishes

Chrystal Baker is a private cook, recipe developer, culinary production artist and freelance contributor to, as well as a culinary production team member for various TV shows, commercials, photo shoots and online content. She maintains, a Los Angeles-based food blog that features dishes influenced by family tradition, regional fare and worldly flavors. She also shares travel stories and links to published work via a personal blog, You can follow her trail on Instagram and Twitter-- @AnynEverywhere and @TheDuoDishes.


This entry was posted on December 7, 2014 by in 2014 and tagged , , , , , , .

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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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