For many people, including us, risotto is a go-to supper dish throughout the year. This Vegetable Garden Risotto, is perfect for the spring, when asparagus makes its first appearance, although it’s fine to use frozen peas and beans if you like. The cheese really lifts the flavour and the minted oil adds the finishing touch. If making this for two, just half the quantity of rice and liquid and add the amount of veg you want.
– 250g podded fresh or frozen broad beans
– 50g butter
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed
– 3–4 thyme sprigs
– 1 long strip of lemon zest
– 1 bay leaf
– 150g risotto rice
– 150ml dry white wine
– 750ml hot vegetable stock
– 100g fresh runner beans, cut into long thin strips
– 100g podded fresh or frozen peas
– 1 bunch of asparagus, cut into short lengths
– 100g feta cheese, drained and crumbled
– sea salt and black pepper
– Parmesan shavings, to serve (optional)
Minted olive oil
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
– 2 tbsp olive oil
1. To make the minted oil, mix the mint and olive oil, then set it aside.
2. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the broad beans and bring back to the boil, then cook for 1 minute. Drain the beans and run them under cold water to cool, then remove their greyish skins and set aside.
3. Melt 25g of the butter with the tablespoon of oil in a large pan and fry the onion for a few minutes until softened, but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes, then stir in the thyme, lemon zest, bay leaf and rice and cook for a few seconds longer until the rice is glistening.
4. Pour the wine into the pan and cook over a medium heat until the liquid has reduced by half. Slowly start adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring well in between each addition.
5. Simmer for 2–3 minutes or until the liquid has almost all been absorbed before adding more. Continue to cook and add stock for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.
6. Meanwhile, bring a separate pan of water to the boil. Add the runner beans and cook them for 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain, then tip the beans back into the pan and toss with a small knob of butter and plenty of pepper.
7. Remove the thyme and lemon zest from the rice and discard. Stir in the broad beans, peas and asparagus with the remaining stock and cook for 3 minutes until tender, stirring regularly.
8. Remove from the heat and stir in the feta. Season with salt and pepper, then cover with a lid and set aside for a few moments.
9. Add the remaining butter to the risotto and stir. Serve, topped with some runner beans, minted olive oil and shavings of Parmesan, if using.
The Hairy Bikers are on their bikes again, continuing their culinary journey through time as they celebrate the best of British Classics.
With their irresistible enthusiasm, Si King and Dave Myers, have become national treasures. Big hearted, down-to-earth cooks with a love of good food, they have been cooking together for more than twenty years. They’ve written eleven books to date, including Perfect Pies, Big Book of Baking and Great Curries.
Their television back catalogue includes over 20 series’ including Mums Know Best, Bakeation, Meals on Wheels and most recently, Asian Adventures. In 2012, the boys shed more than six stone between them on Hairy Dieters: How to love food and lose weight. They have since published a second Hairy Dieters book, created a range of low-fat sauces (available in Asda and Ocado), and launched an online-subscription based weight-loss club, The Hairy Bikers’ Diet Club.
The Hairy Bikers’ British Classics by Si King and Dave Myers is published by Seven Dials and is available in hardback on 1 November 2018, priced at £22.