This one dish meal pops with bright green colored fava beans combined with the tangy flavor of lemon juice. Many recipes for risotto with fava beans call blending in pureed fava beans, yielding a green rice. Green food tends to be unappealing if it is not found in nature green. (Visualize green fava beans, limes and baby spring mix compared to rice, potatoes and couscous.)
Arborio rice is the traditional Italian medium grain rice used in preparing risotto and is not difficult to find. It is worth having an additional variety of rice in your pantry if you plan to embark on preparing a proper risotto.
Stock (broth) is heated and added to the rice a bit at a time with constant stirring. Rice is an agricultural product and will have different absorption characteristics due to growing conditions, crop year, age of crop, etc. It is impossible to determine the exact amount of broth that would be required each time risotto is prepared. This recipe over estimates the amount of broth needed; however, if you find yourself needing additional liquid just add hot water.
Fava beans can be shelled, blanched and peeled a day in advance to help reduce prep time.
- 2 pounds fava beans in the pod
- 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, extra fine dice
- 1 3/4 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup cooking sherry (or dry white wine)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Salt as desired
- Pepper as desired
- Shell fava beans (2 pounds of beans in the pod should result in 1 1/2 to 2 cups of shelled beans).
- Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add fava beans and cook 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.
- Drain boiled fava beans and immediately immerse in ice water. Cool for 6 - 8 minutes.
- Peel skins from fava beans (they should pop right out). Set aside.
- Combine vegetable stock and water in medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to keep warm.
- Combine butter and olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, 6 - 8 minutes.
- Add rice and stir until well coated with oil, 1 - 2 minutes.
- Add cooking sherry and stir constantly until completely absorbed by rice.
- Add 2 1/2 cups hot vegetable stock to rice, stirring constantly, until rice has absorbed all the liquid.
- Continuing adding vegetable broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the rice is fully cooked (no longer crunchy).
- Finish the risotto by adding fava beans, cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice as well as salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately.