Tuesday, June 25, 2013

hot mamas with christina - corn and fava bean risotto

i feel so lucky to have girlfriends who know so much about cooking.  christina bumps me right out of my veggie comfort zone with this little how-to and complete dinner ditty and i hope she inspires you too!  my mouth is watering for her finished dish.

take it away my dear hot mama....


So not to sound braggy, but there are not many readily available vegetables I have not had some experience with.  I like trying new things and love finding new flavors and recipes.  So when I saw these lovelies at the grocery store I thought why not??!!  Do you know what they are?  They are fava beans.  When I think of fava beans, I think of this...

I know creepy right??

I had never made them and never had fresh ones before.  I ate them as a kid but we called them lupini beans and they were sort of preserved in a salty water brine.  So here is my first, and definitely not my last, experience with fava beans. I plan on buying a ton more and freezing them for later.

Before I could figure out what to do with the beans, I had to clean them.  This was a process, but I did it in the afternoon and it took about 30 minutes.  Of course I googled it, I mean really what did we do before google?!

Step 1: De pod (see video) This was a great way for the kids to help!

Step 2: Heavily salt some boiling water and cook the beans for 3 minutes.

Step 3: Strain and submerge in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Step 4: Now you need to get them out of the outer skin.  To do this just squeeze one end it will just pop out.  As you can see from the picture, they will be as green as a pea!

Once you finish, you could freeze them for a rainy day, or cook em!  Once they were clean, I didn't get as much yield as I thought I would so I figured I would combine them with some frozen organic corn.  Looked up corn and fava beans on the web and found a recipe for risotto, yummy!  I have made risotto enough in my days to make it in my sleep.  Below is my standard risotto recipe, you can change up the broth and vege and the flavors will totally change.  I did follow the recipe for the basil mint pesto, OMG so good I will be making this again!! 

Corn and Fava Bean Risotto 

1 1/2 white onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
2 cups warm broth (I used vegetable broth) need to add this when it is warm, I just warm it on the stove in a sauce pan
1 cup fava beans 
2 cup corn
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup arborio rice
olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons of mint-basil pesto

Step 1: In a deep skillet or pan, coat the bottom with olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 3ish minutes, until the onion is translucent.

Step 2: Add the rice and stir to combine with onion mixture, add the wine and ladle full of broth, stir.

Step 3: Keep on very low heat, the trick to risotto is not to hurry it, remember food is love.... when the rice has absorbed the broth add another ladle full.  Keep repeating this until broth is gone, should be about 20 minutes.  

Step 4: Check the tenderness of the rice, if it is al dente then it should have a little bite to the texture, it should not be crunchy, but also not mushy.  If you need to add more broth, do so and keep cooking.

Step 5: When the last of the broth is almost absorbed, add in the corn, beans, 4 tablespoons of the pesto and butter. The butter is not necessary but does give the risotto a great texture.  If you have had amazing risotto in a restaurant, it is because there is a lot more butter in it than you think there is ;)

I served it up with some grilled salmon the hubby made.  Seriously. this was a restaurant quality meal, it was so great I will be making it again!!  It could be amazing alone or even with chicken or other fish.

So don't be afraid of a new fruit, vegetable or grain.  Challenge yourself and just try it!  Next on my challenge list is... rhubarb.....


oh christina... are you kidding me!?  corn and fava bean risotto topped with salmon and a basil mint pesto?!?  that is crazy yums.  thanks for the delicious inspo, i think i might just conjure up the gumption to try this too:)

and i'll definitely be sipping a nice chianti with that.


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