Nothing says Spring like green vegetables – such as asparagus, peas, broad beans, fresh herbs. Ottolenghi makes salads from only green items, and they are divine. They truly belong to Spring – green is Spring’s colour.
Despite the heat this Spring I was craving risotto, so it had to be one to celebrate the season. As luck would have it, I had some home grown broad beans and some peas in the freezer. The risotto is made in the usual way – no variations or neat tricks here. Just stirring for 18 mins for a perfect dish.
Spring Risotto with Peas, Edamame and Baby Broad Beans
2 Tblspn olive oil
2 Tblspn finely chopped onion
0.33 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
0.33 cup edamame beans (fresh or frozen)
0.33 cup young tender broad beans (fresh or frozen)
300g risotto rice (about 2 cups) – Carnaroli, Vialone Nano or Arborio
5 cups water or very light vegetable stock, simmering
50g parmesan, freshly grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based pan and add the onion. Saute until translucent.
Add the peas, edamame and broad beans and cook over a medium heat for 1 – 2 mins, stirring continually. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil and mix with the peas and beans. Stir for 2 mins until you hear a crackling sound.
Add a ladle of the simmering water and stir until it is absorbed. Add more liquid and continue this process until the rice is cooked al dente – generally 18 mins. Taste the rice – it should be firm to the bite. If it is not quite cooked, continue the process for another 2 – 3 mins.
Remove from the heat and add the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Stir, cover and rest for 2 mins before serving.
recipe notes and alternatives
If using frozen vegetables, you might prefer to add them to the rice about half way or 2/3 of the way through the cooking process. This will allow them to defrost without cooking them too much.
You an add some beans and/or asparagus to the risotto as well.
I do like a splash of white wine on the rice before adding the first ladle of stock. A little dry vermouth can be used instead. But if you don’t have either, use a tspn or 2 of mirim with the same amount of rice wine vinegar. Wine or vermouth gives the best flavour but you can omit or use the mirim- rice vinegar trick.