Recipe: Risotto with bean pesto

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Every fall, I sow a patch of beans when I clear the summer crops.

Being a fixator of legumes and nitrogen, the plants help invigorate the soil that has been depleted by heavy eaters over the summer, with the benefit that the plants also produce edible leaves and bean pods.

I focus on harvesting the medium sized pods, when the beans are softer and less bitter.

Frozen beans can also be used for this recipe.

READ MORE:
* Recipe: Spinach and Lemon Risotto
* Nicola Galloway: Baked risotto with parsley pesto with pumpkin seeds
* Recipe: Spring risotto with asparagus, broad beans, lemon and feta

Stirring regularly, you massage the starch into the rice so that your risotto has a silky texture.

Nicola Galloway

Stirring regularly, you massage the starch into the rice so that your risotto has a silky texture.

RISOTTO WITH BEAN PESTO

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

For 3-4 people

Ingredients

1.25 liters (5 cups) vegetable or chicken broth

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 small fennel bulb or celery stalk, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup (220 g) arborio rice

1 small glass (150 ml) dry white wine

Nut butter (25g)

A large handful (30g) of finely grated Parmesan

salt and pepper to season

For the bean pesto

1 cup of broad beans

generous handful of fresh herbs – I used parsley, mint and the first basil leaves

1-2 garlic cloves, peeled

juice of half a lemon, 2-3 tablespoons

A large handful (30g) of finely grated Parmesan

about 100 ml of extra virgin olive oil

Being a fixative of legumes and nitrogen, the bean sowing helps invigorate the soil that has been depleted by heavy eaters during the summer, with the advantage that the plants also produce edible leaves and pods of beans.

Nicola Galloway

Being a fixative of legumes and nitrogen, the bean sowing helps invigorate the soil that has been depleted by heavy eaters during the summer, with the advantage that the plants also produce edible leaves and pods of beans.

Method

First, prepare the pesto. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the beans and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water for 1 minute. Drain again. Remove the tough outer skin from the beans. Place the beans in a food processor, along with the herbs, garlic, lemon and Parmesan. Mix until combined. With the engine running, pour a drizzle of olive oil until a smooth paste is obtained. Aim for a runny sauce. Pour into a small serving bowl.

Heat the broth in a large saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and fennel and sauté gently for 5 minutes, until softened.

Add the garlic and rice and stir for 1 minute, until the rice is translucent.

Pour in the wine, stirring until the wine has evaporated. Now start adding the hot broth one ladle at a time, stirring frequently until the liquid is absorbed, then add another ladle of broth. Continue this rhythm until the broth is used up and the rice is al-dente, with a consistency of porridge. Regular agitation massages the starch into the rice for a silky texture.

Remove from the heat, mix with the butter and grated Parmesan and season to taste. Serve immediately with a generous dollop of bean pesto stirred into each risotto plate.

Nicola Galloway is an award-winning food writer, cookbook author and cooking teacher.

homegrown-kitchen.co.nz


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