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Bring in Autumn with this Roasted Garlic Millet Risotto w Fennel & Oregano Pesto

Recipe by Jessica Cox

A delicious autumn themed recipe using the underutilised grain, millet. Millet is naturally rich in minerals and one of the highest protein containing grains. Here millet is enjoyed with the flavours of roasted garlic, creamy macadamias and the subtle aniseed flavour of roasted fennel. Topped with a lively and zesty finish of oregano pesto, this risotto is a true crowd pleaser.

GF, DF, VG

  • 1 cup millet
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cored and stems removed (approx. 330g)
  • 1 small head garlic (40g)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 large stem celery, finely diced

Roasted Garlic Sauce

  • 500ml quality chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Pesto

  • 1 large bunch (55 grams) fresh oregano, stems included when weighing
  • 2 large bunches fresh basil (100 grams), stems included when weighing
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil + an extra tablespoon if needed
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to season

Method:

Start by pre cooking the millet. Place the millet into a medium saucepan and cover well with 4 cups of water. Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer, allowing the millet to cook till just al dente. This will take about 10 – 12 minutes. If the millet is soaking up all the water just add more as you go, the idea is to boil it, not steam it with the absorption method.

Once the millet is just cooked drain it through a fine sieve and wash well with hot water. Leave the sieve to rest over the saucepan allowing the liquid to run out of the millet. Set aside. (Note that at this point you can place the cooked millet in the fridge and use over the next 2 days).

Preheat the oven to 200c. Place the garlic bulb on a baking tray. Slice the fennel bulb into 1cm thick slices lengthways and place on the baking tray with the garlic. Season the fennel then gentle toss the fennel with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.

While the fennel and garlic are baking make your oregano pesto. Start with removing the basil leaves and oregano leaves from their stems then place into a food processor with the remaining ingredients (besides the additionally tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil). Pop on the lid and blend well till a lovely pesto texture is reached. If you feel the pesto needs loosening up a little more then add the additional tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Taste and season again accordingly. Set-aside until ready to serve.

Once the fennel and garlic are done remove from the oven. The fennel should be golden and crispy brown on the edges and the garlic bulb should be nice and soft when gently squeezed.

To make the roasted garlic sauce place the stock, macadamia nuts, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper into a blender. Take the roasted garlic bulb and squeeze out the entire gooey centre into the blender, discarding the skin. Place the lid on the blender and blend to a lovely creamy liquid with no lumps remaining.

Now it’s time to make the risotto. Heat a large saucepan to a medium heat and add in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add the finely chopped onion and celery and sauté till soft and transparent. Now add the pre-cooked millet to the saucepan and stir through. Poor in the creamy liquid stock mixture from the blender and bring the saucepan to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. There will be quite a lot of liquid to start but it will slowly be taken up as the risotto cooks and the liquid concentrates. Leave to simmer for a good 20 minutes, stirring often to avoid sticking.

When the risotto is nice and creamy and oozy, taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Spoon the risotto into shallow bowls or plates and then top liberally with the oregano pesto. Finish by laying on top of the pesto the pre roasted fennel and dress with extra virgin olive oil, pepper and the freshly chopped leaves of the fennel and extra pine nuts if desired.


Jessica is a passionate foodie and qualified, practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition), with over a decade of clinical experience. Jess is the founder and business owner of the successful JCN Clinic based in Brisbane, Australia. The JCN Clinic treats all facets of health conditions, though specialises with ongoing digestive issues and food intolerances. Jess is well respected within the public space of health and wellness for her no fad approach and utilisation of evidence based nutrition.

Jess is also the creator of the Jessica Cox website and blog, which is an expression of everything she loves rolled into one, including her passion for creating recipes that catering for food intolerances. Jess is available for consultations at her clinic based in Brisbane, along with Skype and Phone consultations for national and international clients.

Contact Jess with any queries or questions at here or email reception@jessicacox.com.au. Source great food ideas and more by following Jess on: InstagramFacebookTwitter & Pinterest.


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