August 27, 2008

spring risotto

I love love love broad beans. They're my absolute favourite vegetable. They have such a short season - maybe I wouldn't love them so much if they were available all year round - so we tend to have them several times a week in spring.

My new delicious turned up yesterday. Ben O'Donoghue's spring risotto starring broad beans and asparagus (my second favourite vegetable) was my obvious pick for dinner last night and it was great. Here's how I made it - I altered the method slightly as I didn't fancy peeling the broad beans raw as the recipe stated.

Risotto Primavera (serves 4-6)

120g unsalted butter

1 white onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 cups (400g) carnaroli rice (I used arborio)

1 cup (250ml) dry white wine

5 cloves garlic

1/2 cup (80g) frozen peas

1 cup (120g) podded fresh broad beans, cooked and peeled

2L chicken stock, kept at a simmer

1/2 bunch asparagus (I used a whole bunch) thinly sliced at an angle - tips intact

1 cup (80g) grated parmesan

4 T mascarpone ( I omitted this)

1 T finely shredded mint leaves

Cook the broad beans in boiling water for a minute or two, drain, peel when cool enough to handle and set aside. Cook the asparagus slices in the simmering stock for a couple of minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Melt 80g of the butter in a wide pan over med heat. Cook the onion and celery, stirring, for 10 mins or until softened, adding the garlic for the final minute. Add the rice and stir for a further minute to coat the grains. Add the wine and cook, stirring, for 3 mins until absorbed. Add a ladleful of hot stock, stirring until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add stock, a ladleful at a time, gently stirring and making sure each is absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is al dente. This will take 20-25 minutes (you may not need all the stock). Add the last ladleful of stock, turn off the heat, and gently stir in the remaining butter, parmesan, peas, beans and asparagus. Cover and let stand for 10 mins. Serve topped with mascarpone and mint.

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