Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fava Bean Risotto

I received Fava Beans in my Plow to Porch box and thought that it might be nice to try and incorporate them into a risotto of some sort. I have never eaten fava beans before, so I thought combining them with a starch like risotto would be a good way to ease in. I wish that I had just tried them on their own, or had tried them in a different recipe. They were so much fun to cook, but this recipe that I found on allrecipes just didn't bring enough fava bean color or flavor to the party. I think the author might have errored when they called for 1/2 lb of unshelled favas and maybe meant 1/2 lb of favas removed from the first shell, but not the second skin? Either way, this was my first time making risotto, and I think I have the technique down. It is a ridiculously starchy dish, so I need to perhaps make it next time when we have company instead of just the two of us. It is easy to overload on risotto, even when you aren't very fond of the recipe as was the case here (look at the portion size I served up, sheesh!). I have to say, I really loved the process of the double shelling of the favas, and they are so beautiful after they have been shelled the second time! I look forward to cooking them as a standard side dish next spring, since they have such a short season that they are available.

Green Risotto with Fava Beans (from Allrecipes)
1/2 pound fresh, unshelled fava beans (probably means shelled but not "second skinned")
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
salt to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, shell the favas and discard the pods. Boil the favas for 4 minutes, strain and then immediately plunge into ice water. Let cool for 2 minutes then pierce the favas and squeeze them out of their skins. Separate 3/4 of the favas and puree in a food processor.
In a separate large saucepan bring the broth to a simmer, and keep it hot. Meanwhile, in another large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1.5 tablespoons of the butter and add the onions. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes; do not brown the onions. Add the rice and cook, while stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium, and stir constantly. When the wine has been absorbed, add a little of the hot stock. Once the stock is absorbed, add a little more; repeat this process, stirring constantly, until the rice is cooked through.
To the cooked rice add the pureed favas, the remaining 1.5 tablespoons of butter, the rest of the favas and the cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter and cheese melt and the puree is incorporated evenly. Season with salt.


  1. Risotto is time consuming but worth it!

  2. My first attempt at making risotto and it tasted delicious. Followed the recipe almost to exact, except I ended up adding more liquid to the dish and cooking it longer for the rice to finished. Want to try another risotto recipes, catch this one! A delectable risotto recipe!