“For many people, including us, risotto is a go-to supper dish throughout the year. This recipe, featuring lots of beautiful British veggies, is perfect for the spring, when asparagus makes its first appearance, although it’s fine to use frozen peas and beans if you like.” say Si King and Dave Myers, aka the Hairy Bikers, who feature the recipe in their cookbook, The Hairy Bikers’ British Classics.
“The cheese really lifts the flavour and the minted oil adds the finishing touch. If making this for two, just half the quantity of rice and liquid and add the amount of veg you want.”
Vegetable garden risotto
- Large frying pan
- 250 g podded fresh or frozen broad beans
- 50 g butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 1 long strip of lemon zest
- 1 bay leaf
- 150 g risotto rice
- 150 ml dry white wine
- 750 ml hot vegetable stock
- 100 g fresh runner beans cut into long thin strips
- 100 g podded fresh or frozen peas
- 1 bunch of asparagus cut into short lengths
- 100 g feta cheese drained and crumbled
- sea salt
- black pepper
- Parmesan shavings to serve (optional)
For the minted olive oil
- 1 tbsp hopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- To make the minted oil, mix the mint and olive oil, then set it aside.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the broad beans and bring back to the boil, then cook for one minute. Drain the beans and run them under cold water to cool, then remove their greyish skins and set aside.
- Melt 25g of the butter with the tablespoon of oil in a large pan and fry the onion for a few minutes until softened, but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes, then stir in the thyme, lemon zest, bay leaf and rice and cook for a few seconds longer until the rice is glistening.
- Pour the wine into the pan and cook over a medium heat until the liquid has reduced by half. Slowly start adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring well in between each addition. Simmer for two to three minutes or until the liquid has almost all been absorbed before adding more. Continue to cook and add stock for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Meanwhile, bring a separate pan of water to the boil. Add the runner beans and cook them for three minutes, or until tender. Drain, then tip the beans back into the pan and toss with a small knob of butter and plenty of pepper.
- Remove the thyme and lemon zest from the rice and discard. Stir in the broad beans, peas and asparagus with the remaining stock and cook for 3 minutes until tender, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat and stir in the feta. Season with salt and pepper, then cover with a lid and set aside for a few moments.
- Add the remaining butter to the risotto and stir. Serve, topped with some runner beans, minted olive oil and shavings of Parmesan, if using.
The Hairy Bikers’ British Classics by Si King and Dave Myers is published by Seven Dials.
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