1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Fill your kettle and boil it. Peel and finely chop the onion. Trim the dry tips from the fennel bulb, then halve it. Slice it into 8-10 wedges. Arrange them on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and turn to coat in the seasoning. Set aside.
2. Pour a splash of olive oil into a large pan and warm over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring now and then, for 8 mins, till the onion is glossy and has started to soften.
3. While the onion fres, crumble the stock cube into a heatproof jug and stir in 650ml hot water from your kettle to dissolve it. Peel and grate or crush the garlic. Finely grate the zest off the lemon. Pick the rosemary leaves off their sprigs and finely chop them.
4. Stir the garlic, and most of the lemon zest and rosemary leaves into the onion (keep a pinch back for garnishing). Add the risotto rice and stir to mix. Cook, stirring often, for 3-4 mins.
5. Add a splash of stock to the pan – around 100ml. Cook, stirring once or twice, till the rice has absorbed the stock (see the step below on what to do with the fennel while the rice cooks). Add another 100ml stock to the pan and repeat, cooking till the stock is absorbed. Continue till you’ve used all the stock. This should take around 20-25 mins.
6. When you add the first splash of stock to the pan, put the tray with the fennel wedges into the oven. Roast for 20 mins till tender and lightly charred around the edges but still with some bite.
7. Stir half the carton of soya cream into the risotto and simmer for 5 more mins, stirring often. This should finish cooking the rice, and the risotto will be tender. If it seems a little dry, add a splash more soya cream. Taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice or a pinch more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Take the fennel out of the oven. Toss the salad leaves with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
8. Divide the risotto between 2 warm bowls. Top with the roast fennel wedges and the remaining lemon zest and rosemary. Serve with the balsamic-dressed salad on the side.