Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Risotto of spring vegetables

Cooking time

Ready in 50 minutes - 1 hour

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 4


•  300g carnaroli rice (risotto rice) 
•  150g parmesan, in a wedge 
•  20g fresh chives, finely snipped 
•  150g shelled broad beans (about 600g in their pods) 
•  150g asparagus spears 
•  200g shelled small peas (about 800g in their pods) 
•  Fistfuls of ice cubes 
•  1 tsp vegetable stock powder, such as Marigold 
•  1 large shallot or 2 smaller ones, finely chopped 
•  3 large spring onions, trimmed and chopped
•  1 fat garlic clove, lightly crushed 
•  2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve 
•  50g butter 
•  125ml dry white wine  
•  2 tbsp mascarpone



  1. Tip the rice into a pan of boiling, lightly salted water. Boil gently for 6 minutes then drain in a sieve. There should still be a white core in the centre of the grains. Spread the part-cooked rice on a clean tray, cool, then chill until you are ready to finish the risotto. If covered with cling film, the rice can be kept for up to 24 hours. Shave about 25g off the parmesan wedge and set aside for later. Finely grate the rest and save for use in Step 8.
  2. Blanch the broad beans for 1 minute in boiling water then drain and rinse them in a colander under cold water. Using your fingers, pop each bean from its skin. (Thawed frozen beans can be popped without blanching).
  3. Trim the asparagus and cut the spears at an angle into lozenge shapes. Bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a large pan, add 1 tsp of sea salt, then the asparagus, shelled peas and beans. Return to a gentle boil and cook for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, put lots of ice cubes into a large bowl half filled with cold water.
  4. Drain the vegetables in a colander set over a bowl to catch and save the cooking water, then tip them straight into the bowl of iced water. When cold, drain again and set aside.
  5. Pour the saved vegetable water into a pan and whisk in the stock powder. When ready to finish the risotto, bring the stock to the boil and keep it on a simmer.
  6. In another large pan, gently sauté the shallot, spring onions and garlic in the 2 tablespoons of oil and half the butter for 3-5 minutes until softened. Stir in the wine and cook until reduced by half.
  7. Tip in the rice. Now add a ladle of boiling stock and stir until it is absorbed. Add the remaining stock, a ladle at a time, stirring until absorbed before you add more. This takes about 8 minutes, by which time the mixture should be slightly sloppy, not dry. You may not need all the stock. The rice is cooked when it is just softened and has a nice shiny glaze. Remove the garlic clove.
  8. Gently stir in the vegetables and remaining chives and return to a gentle simmer, adding a little extra stock if needed. Stir in the last of the butter, the grated parmesan and the mascarpone. Check the seasoning. Divide immediately between four warmed shallow bowls, drizzle over a little oil and scatter the parmesan shavings onto each serving.

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Posted by Adrian Broadway


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