Fava Bean Risotto

Every year I get excited when it’s fava bean season.  These little gems don’t look like much in the grocery store, in fact they may even look downright ugly – little black spots on the outside pod sometimes, long green thick pods – but trust me they are so delicious and worth the effort of peeling them twice.  To get to the bean itself you need to remove the bean from the long pod, which is generally easy to open down the seem and pop the beans out.  Then you need to remove the bean from the skin by blanching them in water.  The inside bean is a beautiful, vibrant green and has a buttery flavor that is unmistakable.  I think this simple risotto dish is the perfect way to highlight it’s flavor.  I used citrus to complement it and of course butter and Parmesan because you can’t have a good risotto without butter and Parmesan.  So get on down to the grocery store and try this one.  Don’t be afraid of the favas……

  1. Remove the beans from the outer pod.  Bring water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add a little salt and boil the beans for 1 to 1 ½ minutes.  They will start to float to the top.  Drain and rinse in cool water and remove the beans from the shell by gently squeezing one end.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium pan heat the chicken stock over medium heat until hot and then leave on low.
  3. Melt the 1 Tablespoon butter and the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan.  When melted add in the shallots.  Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add in the rice.  Gently stir the rice, coating it with the fat and cook for 1-2 minutes; it will start to look a little opaque in the middle.  Add in the white wine and cook until the wine is almost absorbed. Now add the hot chicken stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring the rice gently until the stock is absorbed and then adding more as needed.  Add the fava beans to the rice when you add the last ½ cup of stock and the salt and pepper.  Total cook time should be 20-22 minutes for al dente.  Do not over cook or it will be mushy. 
  4. Remove from heat and add in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and parsley.  Serve with shaved parmesan.
1 ½ lbs fava beans

5 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, divided

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup chopped shallots

1 cup Arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine (room temperature)

4 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

1 lemon zested

3 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley

1 teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Parmesan cheese (shaved)

Serves 4

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1 Comment

  • comment-avatar
    Jenn May 21, 2015 (11:17 am)

    I had never eaten fava beans until trying this recipe! My husband and I are hooked! We love risotto and this is a great way to change up the flavors. Delicious!