Tuesday, 19 May 2009

garlicky spring risotto

A friend gave me a splendid bag of fancy-pants arborio rice. This is what happened when I got home. This is tastes like the filling of stuffed vine leaves, only in the form of risotto! So exciting! The leftovers are great wrapped in vine leaves (how shocking). Failing that, they're also great wrapped in any leafy green. Or eaten straight out of the container cold. I might have done that today at lunch.

Confession: I love fresh fava beans. LOVE. However, they take for frikkin' ever to shell, so I'm secretly glad that fresh fava bean season is mercifully short, because otherwise I'd have a pretty serious time problem on my hands.

1 c arborio rice
1c white wine
hot veg stock or water

2 stalks celery
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbs cumin
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2-1 c fresh fava beans (broad beans)
1/2 c fresh mint, chopped
a few sprigs fresh dill, chopped
juice of 1 large lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Usually I use brown rice, but for this, brown is a bit heavy, though it could work if you wanted to use this as a stuffing for peppers or something. Meh. Serve this with olives and a simple tomato salad.

General instructions for risotto are here. For this one, prep the rice (ie, rice, wine, stock) in a nice heavy bottom pan. While the rice is cooking, shell the fava beans. When that's done, get going on the celery and garlice: In a separate pan from the rice, saute the celery and garlic on medium heat in a splash of wine. Once they're translucent, add cumin and zucchini, drop the heat and cover. Add fava beans at end (a minute or two before the rice is done. Mix the rice into the veg. Stir in the mint, dill and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.

springtime music: dance me to the end of love, by leonard cohen, for my plum.


Jake said...

I've never had fresh fava beans, but I saw some at the produce store yesterday. I'm not really sure, because I really, really dislike the canned variety. I find them extremely mealy and blech. Do you think they're sufficiently different fresh that I should take a chance on them?

sinead said...

Yes. Canned fava beans are evil. Fresh fava beans are a culinary revelation. If I can't get fresh, I just use dried, which are a completely different food as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

Fresh FAVA BEANS!!!!!

They are incredible. I am a bit torn on the length of the season.. They are a bitch to shell but GAH, so delicious. I will never, ever try the canned. I'm in Japan right now and I tried them for the first time a few weeks ago. I agree that dried are probably different altogether, but I'm sure still good. I love how creamy and wonderful the fresh ones are.

Hoorah for fresh fava beans! Are they huge where you are? They are massive here.. some are half the size of my thumb [not that that really helps anyone have an idea..]

I like the blog. Not sure if I ever posted before, but I've lurked for a while.

Liz² said...

risotto like the inside of vine leave-rice is so so smart, it could get me to even make risotto soon.

oh, do you have any experience with split favas? I saw some today and was tempted to buy some... I'm assuming they might cook faster, maybe without soaking? because favas really are the greatest thing ever... sometimes I like them better than chocolate (shh!)

sinead said...

Split favas do cook a bit faster, in my experience, and they don't have that membrane around them that the whole ones usually have. I still have to soak them. I use them to make fava hummous. It's the yum. I also use them in "clean out the fridge" soup. Also yum. Favas in general = yum.