There’s something about risotto. I think it is the smug feeling of eating something wonderfully creamy that doesn’t actually contain cream. Adding lots of green bits can make one feel even smugger as you feel you are eating a healthy, low fat, balanced meal – which you probably are. This one is alcohol free too but you could use a glass of white wine to replace the equivalent amount of stock.
I found a pack of frozen edamame at the back of the freezer. they work well in a risotto, either on their own or as I did here partnered by tender peas and young broad beans. As spring turns to summer so can you ditch the frozen packs of peas and beans for the real thing.
1 clove garlic – finely chopped
1 stick celery – finely chopped
2 teacups full of risotto rice – Arborio is good
1 teacup each of peas, broad beans and edamame (shelled of course)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
large knob of butter
a generous handful of fresh oregano – chopped
as much grated Parmesan as your conscience will allow – you do need a lot to give it flavour
good quality vegetable stock – Marigold Bouillon works well here – about ½ a litre
Start by placing the beans and peas in boiling water and boiling rapidly for about 3-5 minutes until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop them overcooking.
Now heat the oil in a large pan and at the same time put the stock in another pan and get it up to a simmer. Fry off the celery, garlic and herbs in the oil until soft then add the rice. Stir to coat the rice in the oil then add a ladle of stock. Keep stirring gently to massage the rice, releasing the starch. When absorbed, add another ladle full and continue this way as the rice absorbs the stock. When the rice is al dente (just soft, but with a little bite to it still) add one more ladle of hot stock, then add the beans and peas, stir, then turn off the heat. Throw in a knob of butter and a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese. Stir again then cover and leave to rest for about 5-7 minutes. This is the important part as this is what makes the risotto deliciously creamy.