Broad Bean Risotto
Broad Bean Risotto

Broad bean risotto makes a good everyday meal to feed the whole family.

Broad beans are a good source of protein, contain many important vitamins and nutrients, and have no saturated fat or cholesterol.

Making a risotto with broad beans is an excellent way to turn homegrown beans into a filling meal or side dish. Complement with other vegetables like onion, garlic, and carrots.

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Broad Bean Risotto
How to make broad bean risotto

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If using homegrown beans, the process of double shelling the beans (described below) is highly recommended to remove any chewy skin.

Broad bean risotto makes a good everyday meal to feed the whole family. The rice ensures that there will be enough food for everyone.

The amount of broad beans and other vegetables in the recipe can easily be adjusted according to what you have available. If your broad bean harvest is small, topping up the ingredients with peas is a good substitute, or use shop bought beans.

Broad beans are a good source of protein and contain many important vitamins and nutrients and have no saturated fat or cholesterol.

The first step is removing the broad beans from their pods. The beans are then added to boiling water and left to simmer for about three minutes. Remove from the water and set aside.

When the broad beans are cold enough to handle, make a small cut in the top of the bean and then squeeze out the inner bean. The inner beans are soft and delicate, with no chewy skin. The outer skin is discarded. This two step process is called ‘double shelling’.

The next step is preparing the other vegetables. The mushrooms should be cut into small chunks, as with the garlic. Also, chop the carrots into small chunks.

Pour a small amount of olive oil in frying pan, add the mushrooms and garlic, cover with a lid, and cook over a moderate heat stirring regularly. The mushrooms will be ready after five to ten minutes when they have softened and reduced in size.

Chop the onions into small chunks and cook in the large pan that the risotto will be made in. Add a little olive oil to the pan, cover with a lid, and cook over a moderate heat for five to ten minutes. The onion will be ready when it has softened and sweetened to the taste.

Whilst the onion is cooking, prepare the stock adding one stock cube to boiling water.

When the onion is ready tip the risotto rice into the pan. Give the rice a really good stir to ensure that all the grains are covered by the oil and onion mixture.

Add about 200ml of the stock and stir the mixture constantly until absorbed by the rice. If the stock is not hot, you may need to place the pan over a moderate heat to help absorption. The purpose of preparing the rice this way is to ensure that it does not stick together during cooking.

All the ingredients are now added to the rice pan. Add the broad beans, the carrots, the mushroom and garlic mixture, and all the remaining stock. Before placing on the stove, give the mixture a really good stir to ensure the ingredients are combined well.

Place the pan on a medium heat until the stock boils, and then immediately move the pan onto a low heat to simmer very gently for twenty to thirty minutes. Keep the pan covered with a lid to keep the moisture in, and stir the mixture every five to ten minutes to prevent any rice sticking to the bottom of the pan.

If the mixture looks dry, and the rice is beginning to stick to the pan, add a little more boiling water. Cooking is complete when the rice is soft to the bite. The risotto is meant to be moist and juicy.

Serve onto plates, and if desired, grate some cheese over the top – walnut pieces can also be added.

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