The start of spring is a wonderous time, you have the sunny warmer days giving a taste of what is to come intermittent with colder days ideal for enjoying the last of the slow cooked casseroles.
This risotto recipe makes full use of the green spring vegetables. My choice tonight is Broad Beans, Asparagus Tips and Peas and some (very proudly picked from my balcony pot) beautiful mint leaves.
The beauty of this recipe is you can (excluding the asparagus) use frozen beans and peas and enjoy any time of the year. Whilst my philosophy is definitely using produce that is in season, there is a nothing wrong with using preserved and frozen, and let’s be honest frozen peas are just the best and without all of that work of shelling them.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1.5 litre Chicken stock
- 1 cup peas
- 1 cup broad beans
- 6- 10 asparagus tips (keep the stems for soup)
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 half celery stick finely chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
- 50 grams butter
- Olive oil if needed
- 2 Tbps grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp creme fraiche (optional)
- Fresh mint leaves
Place the stock in a pan and bring to the boil, keep the stock on a simmer.
In a thick bottom saucepan melt the butter and add the onion and celery, sauté until translucent. Add a small pinch of salt.
Add the rice to the pan and stir continuously with a wooden spoon, this is the most laborious part, releasing the starch really makes for a creamy end result, if too dry add some more butter or olive oil. The rice grains should be thoroughly covered with the melted butter/oil. Getting this part right will ensure a delicious risotto.
I tend to stir for about 3-5 minutes then if I’m using white wine I add it at this stage.
Boil off the alcohol about 3 minutes.
Add a ladle or half cup of stock, stirring your risotto until the liquid has almost evaporated. Continue until half of your stock is used.
Add your broad beans and peas.
Continue adding the stock – it is important to taste check how far your rice is cooked.(I usually have the kettle boiled just in case I need to add a little more liquid and have used all of my stock)
When you close to the end add the asparagus tips and some finely chopped mint leaves, salt and pepper to taste.
Once your happy with the texture of the rice, remove from the stove and add the creme fraiche and Parmesan cheese if you are using.
Searve and sprinkle with a few more chopped mint leaves.