When my neighbour gave me a bag of broad beans, freshly picked from her allotment, I immediately thought early Summer Risotto.
This is a lovely combination of seasonal green veggies, so fresh, delicious and an amazing colour.
I choose the thinnest asparagus spears for this dish so they cook in the last stages of the risotto.
Once again, by swapping out the Parmesan for a non-dairy alternative, this is a great vegan meal.
For those of you who love balanced one-pot meals, this is perfect as it includes lots of veggies too.
Prep and Cook time: 1 hour (depending on type of rice)
Cookware: A medium saucepan
- 120g rice, of choice
- 1 shallot or onion – finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
- 600ml veg stock – plus a little extra to add towards the end if needed
- 100 – 120g broad beans (podded weight or frozen)
- 100g peas
- 100 – 120g asparagus – trimmed and cut into approx 1cm lengths
- 2 handfuls spinach leaves
- 1 tbsp mint – chopped
- 40g Parmesan – grated (or non-dairy alternative)
- 1 tsp butter (or non-dairy spread)
- salt and black pepper
If you are using fresh broad beans, you need to shuck their greyish skins before cooking. Using a small saucepan, boil some water and emerge the podded beans for 1 minute. Drain in a sieve and run under cold water. You should now be able to pop them out of their skins.
Heat a generous tbsp of oil in the medium saucepan and gently sauté the shallot, without browning. After 3 minutes, add the garlic, on a very low heat, and once the garlic aroma fills your space, add the rice, stir and gently toast for 2 minutes.
Next, pour in 200ml of the warm stock and stir well. When the rice has absorbed the stock, add another 200ml, stir and repeat procedure until the stock is used up and the rice cooked and creamy.
Depending on the rice, this can take from 20 – 40 minutes. I use a wholegrain rice which can take 40 minutes, whereas a risotto rice will only take 20 – 30 minutes.
When the rice is cooked and becoming creamy, add the asparagus, beans and peas. Sometimes, I only add the beans, peas and then the asparagus a few minutes later, so the tips remain whole and are not overcooked.
Stir well, adding a little water or stock to retain the creaminess. After 2 minutes, add the spinach, mint, asparagus (if not already added), half the Parmesan and the knob of butter.
Combine and cook for 3 minutes, season to taste with salt and black pepper. Once ready, turn off the heat and allow your risotto to rest for a couple of minutes.
Spoon this delicious risotto into warmed bowls. I try to arrange the asparagus tips on top and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. The meal above is served with a dressed avocado and rocket salad as I needed to use them!