Broad Bean Risotto

shelling broad beansAdapted, if not pinched, from the Able & Cole recipe, adding Noilly Prat vermouth and using mint instead of thyme, as we have mint growing by our kitchen door but no thyme. That’s the trouble with modern life; never enough thyme.

  • 450g broad beans, shelled. Peel the skins off the bigger beans.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 glass Noilly Prat vermouth
  • 2 or 3 big fat cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 500g risotto rice
  • 1.7 litres of hot chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer but I’m afraid this really does taste a squillion times better with chicken stock). Best if you make your own chicken stock, it’s really easy and makes you feel good. I’ll post my highly scientific method soon.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Fresh parmesan shavings

Gently heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan. Cook the onion until it has softened but do not let it brown. Add broad beans and the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and continue to cook until the grains have become translucent and glossy. Throw in the glass of Noilly Prat and inhale deeply. Life doesn’t get better than this.

Turn the heat down and add the stock, one ladle at a time. All the liquid must be absorbed before adding more. Stir all of the time. This will take no less than 20–25 minutes. Add half the mint with the last ladle of liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Take the pan off the heat, cover and leave of stand. Serve hot on warmed plates and sprinkle with the last of the mint and shavings of Parmesan.

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