Fennel and Lemon Risotto


  • 1 large bulb of fennel
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, plus a little extra
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 x clove of garlic, finely chopped/crushed
  • 1 x small glass of white wine, approx 175ml
  • 150g risotto rice
  • 500ml of vegetable stock, hot
  • The zest of one lemon
  • 25g parmesan cheese or a vegetarian alternative if appropriate


Take off the green fennel fronds and put to one side. Cut off the stalk top and remove the outer layers and chop both finely. Heat a tablespoon of the butter in a large frying pan and gently cook the onion, garlic and chopped fennel until soft but not browned/coloured.

Add the rice and stir for a minute.  Add most of the wine and cook gently until it has evaporated.  Add most of the stock a ladle full at a time, stirring and waiting until stock is absorbed before adding the next.

In another frying pan, gently fry the remaining finely sliced fennel until browned. Add last bits of wine and stock and cook until tender.

Once the rice is cooked, stir through the grated zest of the lemon, cheese and some salt and pepper to taste.

Divide between bowls/plates and garnish with fennel fronds and the cooked, sliced fennel.


pak choi and mushroomsPak Choi with Mushrooms and Ginger


  • 2 x bunches of Pak Choi
  • 1 x whole Portabello mushroom
  • 1 x piece of ginger (2 to 3 inches), peeled and cut into really thin strips
  • 2 x cloves of garlic
  • 2 x tablespoons hot chili sesame oil (if you like it spicy) or just regular sesame oil if you prefer it a little less so.
  • 2 x tablespoons of soy sauce
  • Toasted sesame seeds


In a large pan or wok, heat the sesame oil (spicy or not).  Saute the crushed garlic and sliced ginger for a minute or so.

Add washed pak choi and soy sauce.  Pop the lid on or use foil if no lid and let the pak choi steam for 2-3 minutes until it begins to wilt.

Add the mushrooms and again replace the lid or foil and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms begin to wilt.  When wilted, stir with a wooden spoon and saute vegetables so they pick up all the flavours of the garlic, ginger and soy sauce.

Added toasted sesame seeds.  To toast pop the seeds into a dry pan and fry until they start to change colour. (Be careful not to burn).

Serve with rice or noodles and enjoy.

Broad Bean Pilau


  • 200g of basmati rice
  • 300g of broad beans (podded)
  • 50g of butter
  • 4 x spring onions, finely sliced
  • Half teaspoon of ground Allspice
  • Bunch of dill, with fronds removed and chopped roughly
  • A handful or so of pine nuts


Rinse the uncooked rice through cold water until the water runs clear and then soak in warm water for 30 minutes with a pinch of salt.

Cook the broad beans gently for two mins.  Pop them into a bowl of very cold water and leave to cool.

When cool, remove the skins of the beans.

In a saucepan, heat the butter and then gently cook the spring onions, pine nuts, all spice and half the dill until the pine nuts are toasted.

Drain the rice and add to the pan and coat in the butter mixture.

Cover the rice with 1cm of water and bring it to a hard boil.

Stir once, reduce the heat to the minimum, cover and leave for 5 mins.

Turn off the heat and leave for 10 mins.

Finally stir the beans through the rice.  Spoon into a serving dish ensuring any crispy bits from the pan go too.  Sprinkle over the remaining dill and enjoy!

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