Updated: Feb 2, 2018
This rich and creamy risotto is super filling with a nutty crunch. The fava beans and walnuts team up to bring a mega dose of heart healthy protein with the added benefit of unsaturated fat and omega-3 from the nuts. Meanwhile the parmesan cheese and the mushrooms give it an umami flavor that will leave you wanting more. It's the perfect thing to keep you warm while you wait for spring to arrive.
Chicken stock, 1 qt
Butter, 3 Tbs, divided
Fresh Crimini mushrooms, 8 oz, thinly sliced
Onion, 1 medium, diced
Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
Fresh thyme, 1 tsp, finely chopped
Fresh sage, 1 tsp, finely chopped
Sea Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Arborio rice, 1 cup
White wine, 0.25 cup
Shelled fava beans, 0.75 cup, see Notes section for instructions on shelling.
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, 0.25 cup, grated more for garnish
Walnuts, 0.75 cup, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped
In a medium saucepan bring stock to a slow boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and keep hot.
Heat 2 Tbs butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme and sage. Reduce heat to low and cook until onions are softened and translucent, stirring often. Make sure not to brown the onions (about 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the mushrooms release a lot of liquid, pour it out and reserve for later.
Add rice and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Rice will lightly toast and begin to make a sizzling sound.
Increase heat to medium, pour in the wine, stir constantly until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. (2-3 minutes)
When most of the wine has been soaked up by the rice, add in a ladle full of the hot stock, and stir completely. Just before all of the liquid has been absorbed, add another ladle full of stock and repeat this process while constantly stirring. The agitation of the rice, caused by the stirring, will help to pull the starch out of the rice and make for a creamier risotto. If there is any reserved mushroom liquid it can be added to the stock and used during this process. Continue adding stock until the rice is cooked all the way through with an al dente texture (20-30 minutes). You may not need to use all of the stock.
Stir in remaining butter, fava beans and Parmigiano cheese. Mix until butter and cheese are melted and fully incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in walnuts, and cook until fava beans are heated through (2-3 minutes).
Top with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and serve immediately .
large heavy bottomed skillet
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 65 minutes
Shelling the fava beans takes a little additional time, since they basically have 2 shells, but they are totally worth the extra effort. For best results, open the pods and remove the beans, discarding the shells. Add the beans to a pot of salted, boiling water and cook for 4 minutes, then immediately immerse in an ice bath. Allow them to cool for a couple of minutes and remove them from the ice bath. You will see that the outer shell casing will be much more pliable, making them easy to slice open with a knife, or even your fingernails, and pop the beans out of their casings.
Frozen green peas make an excellent year round substitution for fava beans when they are not available
Warning: If you have been diagnosed with the genetic condition favism you should omit the fava beans from this recipe.
An original recipe inspired by, Green Risotto with Fava Beans, http://allrecipes.com/recipe/20922/green-risotto-with-fava-beans/