Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saying Goodbye To Spring

Summer has come but the last of spring's vegetables still crowd the garden beds. A few late favas and English peas combine with peppery arugula leaves for one last spring time dinner, a hearty risotto.
After shelling and skinning the fava beans I cooked them into a quick ragout. I sautéed shallots and garlic in olive oil added in the fava beans and water to barely cover and let the pot simmer until the beans were tender. I tossed in the shelled peas for the last minute to cook away the starchy taste.
For the risotto I started with a chopped onion sautéing in olive oil and then added 3 chopped cloves of garlic. Next I padded in 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice, a beautiful short grain Italian variety that cooks up into a creamy risotto. Once the rice was coated in the oil I poured in about 1/2 cup of white wine. When the wine was nearly cooked away I started with the stock -- adding hot chicken stock to the rice by the half cup and stirring here (seasoning along the way) and there as the liquid cooked away. Each time the liquid cooked down I added more until I had used about 4 cups and then switched to water for the last cup. By this time the rice is just about fully tender and the sauce creamy. I added in shredded cheese (I used an aged goat cheese but parmesan or Romano would be equally good), the fava bean and pea mixture and a handful of roughly chopped arugula leaves.
Beautiful bright greens and creamy rice -- a homegrown taste of spring.

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