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Author Notes: The delicate nature of fava beans requires a simple clean accompaniment. I chose a classic white risotto. Please note that the young fava beans are easy to over cook. So this risotto brings the fresh beans forward as a puree. This gives the cook a lot of control because the beans may be barely cooked then stirred into risotto at the table at the last moment. —Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small white onion, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 3 stalks celery, minced
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 2 cups dry white wine
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
- Bring the 4 cups of chicken broth to a simmer. Put the 2 T olive oil and 1 T butter into a separate slope-sided pan, add the onion, garlic, and celery, and cook very slowly over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes without coloring. When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat to medium-high. The rice will now begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring.
- Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a pinch of salt and white pepper. Turn the heat down to a simmer so the rice doesn't cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladle fulls of stock, stirring as you go, allowing each ladle full to be nearly absorbed before adding the next. Cook until al dente and a bit brothier than seems perfect (it will absorb as it rests). This process will take around 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add 4 T butter and 1/2 C Pecorino Romano. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes. This will keep it from getting overcooked and allow it to get creamy.
Fave Bean Puree
- 1 cup fava beans, shelled
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons, very good extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup loosely packed italian parsley, leaves only
- 1/2 cup or less, chicken stock
- Place the fava beans in a heat proof bowl. Pour enough boiling water over the beans to cover by about 1-inch. Let the beans sit undisturbed until the water has cooled enough so as to handle the beans. Start peeling the beans by using your thumbnail to nick a slit in the skin. Squeeze slightly, and the inner bean will pop right out. If possible start with the smaller beans working to the largest beans.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often until just beginning to color.
- Scrape the garlic and its oil into a food processor and add the fava beans, the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, a pinch of salt and white pepper, thyme and parsley. Pulse the mixture 5 or 6 times to get a rough puree. Add the chicken stock and in several additions, blending between additions to attain desired consistency. You probably won't use it all. Blend a few seconds until somewhat smooth. Leave a little texture if possible. The puree will keep for 1 week covered in your refrigerator.
- To Serve: Spoon the warm risotto into 4 serving bowls and top each with an even amount of fava bean puree. Serve each with some of the remaining Pecorino Romano, and a drizzle of good olive oil.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Risotto (Savory)