Spring vegetable risotto

Mark Young
Prep time: 
30 mins
Cook time: 
30 mins
  • 300g Carnaroli or Arborio rice (risotto rice)
  • 150g parmesan, in a wedge
  • 150g shelled broad beans (about 600g in their pods)
  • 150g asparagus spears
  • 200g shelled small peas (about 800g in their pods)
  • Plenty of ice cubes
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 large shallot or 2 smaller ones, finely chopped
  • 3 large spring onions, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 50g butter
  • 125ml dry white wine
  1. First 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.
  2. Next using a peeler shave half of the parmesan into shavings for garnish and then finely grate the remaining parmesan and set aside
  3. Trim the asparagus and cut the spears at an angle into 1 inch pieces. Bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a large pan, add 1 tsp of sea salt, then the asparagus and the fresh peas.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Pour the saved vegetable water into a pan and whisk in the stock cube. When ready to finish the risotto, bring the stock to the boil and keep it on a simmer.
  7. 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. Now add the rice and cook for a further 5 minutes on a low heat until the rice is coated with the oil and butter and slightly translucent, next add the wine and cook until reduced by half.
  8. 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 15 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.
  9. Gently stir in the vegetables and return to a gentle simmer, adding a little extra stock if needed. Stir in the last of the butter and  the grated parmesan.
  10. Place into bowls and garnish with parmesan shavings to serve.

Chefs tip:
Double podding broad beans are worth the work as the outer skins are tough and lacking in flavour, but it is time consuming. You can use thawed frozen beans and they can be popped without blanching to a save a little time and effort, the difference in flavour is minimal.