This risotto recipe is delicious when fresh favas are in season, but it can be made with frozen favas. It can also be made with frozen or fresh lima beans or any combination of seasonal vegetables. So have fun making up your own combination; just keep in mind the cooking time of each vegetable. Carrots and squash will take longer than peas and asparagus, so add them to the rice accordingly.
- 4 leeks, white and -light--green parts chopped, tough greens reserved
- 4 pounds fresh fava beans, shelled, or frozen fava beans (about 4 cups)
- ¼ cup -extra--virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup grated Grana Padano
Put the tough leek greens in a saucepan with water to cover (about 2 quarts), and bring to a simmer while you prepare the other ingredients. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the shelled fava beans, blanch to loosen the skins, about 2 minutes, then cool in an ice bath. Once they’re cooled, peel the outer skins from the favas. You should have about 3¼ to 4 cups peeled favas.
Heat the olive oil in a large, shallow, -straight–sided pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and chopped leek. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the onion and leek are softened, about 6 minutes.
Raise the heat to -medium–high. Add the rice all at once, and stir continuously until the grains are toasted but not colored, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, and cook until the liquid is almost absorbed.
Ladle in about 2 cups of the simmering leek stock, stir, and cook until the liquid is almost absorbed, about 5 minutes. Ladle in 2 more cups of the stock, and add the shelled, blanched favas. Stir and cook in the same manner until the liquid is almost absorbed. Continue cooking and adding water in this manner until rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes in all. You will probably use most, if not all, of the leek stock you made. Season with the remaining salt.
When the risotto is al dente and creamy, turn off the heat. Beat in the butter, stir in the grated cheese, and serve.