Main Meals Recipes

Wholegrain Spring Risotto

This risotto is a true labour of love, starting with growing the broad beans from scratch, to shelling them with fresh British peas, and then using wholegrain risotto rice, which, unbeknown to me up till this point, takes much longer to cook in comparison to its white counterpart. Something I feel I should have know, but may have overlooked. Therefore, I have a few simple swaps to make the process easier. Despite this, Matt said it was really delicious and I should make it again!

I was also surprised that using brown risotto rice only gave 8.6g of fibre per serving, whereas white risotto rice would have given 8.3g fibre per serving. So the addition of 0.3g of fibre per serving for me doesn’t equate to the extra time spent cooking and stirring an already labour intensive dish!

I absolutely love fresh peas straight from their pod, there is nothing that quite tastes like it. However, if you’re short on time, or if peas are not in season, use frozen peas and broad beans, or swap the seasonal asparagus for other green veg such as kale, swiss chard, purple sprouting broccoli or sugar snap peas.

Serves 5

  • 825g broad beans in their pods, or 250g shelled
  • 450g peas in their pods, or 100g shelled
  • 200g asparagus, tougher stems finely chopped and tender tips cut into large lengths
  • 1 very large onion, finely diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 300g brown risotto rice (or swap to white if you prefer)
  • 250ml dry white wine (option to leave out if preferred)
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 75g parmesan, grated
  • 100g pea shoots

Method

  • Blanch your broad beans, peas and asparagus tips in 2l* of boiling water for 2 minutes, 30 seconds and 1 minute respectively before plunging into iced water to retain their vibrant green colour. Set aside.
  • Using the reserved blanching water, add your stock cubes and keep on a low heat.
  • In a large pan, gently soften the onions in the olive oil with the tougher asparagus stems for around 10 minutes, till the onion starts to turn translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a minute longer.
  • Add the butter and risotto rice and toast till fragrant, usually around 2 minutes, before adding the wine and allowing the grains to absorb the liquid.
  • Add a few ladles of stock at a time, and stir continuously till absorbed. Repeat this process till the rice is cooked through, but still has a slight bite to it.
  • Drain the broad beans, peas, and asparagus tips and add to the rice, cooking for 1-2 minutes till warmed through.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan and serve with pea shoots.

*White risotto rice will use less water than brown risotto rice

Wholegrain Spring Risotto

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