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Risotto with Fava Beans and Morels

MMRuth Jun 17, 2009 12:56 PM

A poster on the Manhattan board asked that I post this. I came up w/ the idea over the weekend and made it Sunday night, using Hazan's basic recipe as a guide.

2 T butter
2 T grapeseed oil or other vegetable oil
2 T finely chopped shallots (that's what I used, but I thought it could use more of them)
2 cups Arborio Rice
Small handful of dried porcinis (I'm too lazy to go find the packet - I used half of it)
1.25 pounds fava beans
1/5 pound fresh morels
5 cups or so of chicken broth
As much grated parmesan as you want.
1-2 butter to add in at the end if you want to (I don't like it, so my husband adds it to his portion)

1. Remove the fava beans from the pods and cook in salted boiling water. Do not overcook - I've learned that when the beans float to the top, they are usually done. If I end up with both largish and smallish beans, I divide them into two categories, throw the large ones in first, then add the smallish ones about 45 seconds later. Put the cooked favas in cold water, drain and peel. I usually just use my thumb nail to perforate the "skin" and then squeeze out the bean. Set aside - this can be done ahead of time.

2. Cut the morels in half (or quarters if particularly large), clean if you think necessary (I usually don't), and sautee quickly in some butter, with salt and pepper. Set aside - this can be done ahead of time.

3. Soak the porcinis in about a cup of warm water for 30 minutes or so. Squeeze out the liquid, and chop up into pretty fine pieces. Retain the liquid. (Can be done ahead of time.)

4. Heat the broth, and strain the porcini liquid through a paper towel lined strainer into the broth. Keep warm.

5. Make risotto in the usual fashion.. After about ten minutes, add the diced porcini. When you think the risotto is a minute or two away from being done, reheat the morels, adding the favas to them first. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

6. When risotto is done, remove from heat and stir in parmesan, and butter if using it. Adjust seasoning. Reserve some morels and favas for garnish, and GENTLY stir in the rest.

7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

We (i.e. my husband) ate almost all of this, but for two you could adjust the recipe to one cup of arborio etc. And, of course, budget permitting, you could use more morels and/or favas.

  1. LNG212 Jun 17, 2009 01:00 PM

    Wow that sounds splendid. My DH loves risotto too. I will most certainly be making this -- gotta find those fresh fava beans! Thanks again for posting.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LNG212
      MMRuth Jun 17, 2009 01:08 PM

      You are welcome - I thought the dried porcinis/liquid would add a little "mushroom depth" to the dish, which they did.

    2. MMRuth Jun 18, 2009 03:55 AM

      On the Manhattan board, someone asked me the following, so I'll answer here:

      "I just did a risotto with slivered snap peas and roasted maitakes with nano vialone.
      Which rice do your prefer for risottos?
      Have you ever swapped in caciocavallo or locatelli for parmigiano?
      What's your base/stock?"

      I usually use arborio - while I have used others, I haven't compared results closely enough to develop a preference. I haven't used cheeses other than parmigiano and pecorino Romano - just forgot to add a little of the latter, and it does add a nice edge to the risotto. I try to use home made chicken broth, but, in a pinch, I'll use chicken Better than Bouillon, though I make sure that it's not too strong. I know that beef broth is traditional in many risottos, but I'm not such a fan of canned/boxed etc. ones, so I stick with chicken.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MMRuth
        t
        TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis Jun 18, 2009 05:48 PM

        I find vialone nano consistently produces satisfying results as does carnaroli; I've never given baldo a shot. I like the edge pecorino brings to the dish and rarely use the quantities typically suggested in many recipes irrespective of choice.
        Have you ever come across Ursula Ferrigno's Risotto? In addition to a wealth of seasonal suggestions, there is an excellent, reasonable vegetable stock recipe I've come to rely upon. I hear you on commercial beef stocks. I'll have to give your fava recipe a go, sounds delicious. Thanks for the thread split.

      2. n
        Nyleve Jun 18, 2009 07:13 AM

        Really you had me at fava beans. And morels. This sounds fantastic. I have planted favas this year and will make this as soon as they're ready. I won't have access to fresh morels at that time, but will use dried porcinis and maybe some other fresh mushroom (or dried morels). Thanks for the inspiration.

        1. Mawrter Jun 18, 2009 12:33 PM

          I just made fava bean risotto last night with favas from my garden and mixed greens, mostly chard (also from garden - a little spinach & kale mixed in). So exciting! I didn't need to peel the beans, either. No mushrooms - I have some nice dried porcini but I wanted it to taste more springy and emphasize the greens. I do agree about risotto really benefiting from mushroom water/broth, but in this case I just used homemade chicken broth.

          1. MMRuth Jun 23, 2009 09:43 AM

            Here is a photo, by the way:

             
            4 Replies
            1. re: MMRuth
              cassoulady Jun 23, 2009 09:56 AM

              MMRuth,
              So I can time this well, how long do you think peeling the favas take?

              1. re: cassoulady
                MMRuth Jun 23, 2009 10:03 AM

                Hmm - let me think. First of course you have to remove them from the pods, which I usually do in front of the TV or on the sofa listening to the radio. Maybe that takes ten minutes? And then, after I boil them, maybe it takes another ten minutes or so to slip them out of the pods? I'm really guessing though - I just tend know that they are mindless tasks and make sure to do them ahead of time.

                1. re: MMRuth
                  cassoulady Jun 23, 2009 10:04 AM

                  Thanks, I have never taken them out of the skin before ( out of the pod, yes) so I was not sure how arduous a task it was.

                  1. re: cassoulady
                    MMRuth Jun 23, 2009 10:15 AM

                    I don't mind doing it - and, while it took me a while to figure out the best way, the "piercing" with the thumbnail and squeezing it out works well for me. I know others post about never needing to skin them but I've never had one that I liked with the skin on it.

            2. LNG212 Jul 2, 2009 11:33 AM

              I just wanted to thank you again. I did finally make this and it was wonderful. The only thing I did differently was to add a dash of lemon at the end (only because I like the taste of lemon with favas). It was a great dish. Thanks for sharing.

              2 Replies
              1. re: LNG212
                MMRuth Jul 2, 2009 02:07 PM

                I like the idea of lemon - did you add lemon zest?

                1. re: MMRuth
                  LNG212 Jul 2, 2009 07:07 PM

                  Actually a bit of both. I think I zested and juiced 1/2 a lemon (not a very big one). Zest went in midway-ish during cooking and juice at the end with the butter and cheese. It added a nice zing/freshness to it.

              2. LNG212 Jul 8, 2009 08:25 AM

                I just got back from the 99th & Mad (small) greenmarket. I stopped by the booth to look at the recipes and saw one for Fava Bean and Zucchini Risotto. So I thought of you. It sounds very light and summery -- favas, zucchini (julienned), basil, lemon and all the regular risotto stuff (onion, wine, broth, cheese, butter). I'll probably give that a try too.

                3 Replies
                1. re: LNG212
                  MMRuth Jul 8, 2009 08:37 AM

                  I can't believe that I didn't know there was one there - I'm just 7 blocks south of there. Anything particularly interesting available? A year or two ago Imade a zucchini risotto with zucchini, shredded zucchini flowers, and fried zucchini flowers on top.

                  1. re: MMRuth
                    LNG212 Jul 8, 2009 08:48 AM

                    I've made a zucchini risotto too but I've always cut the zucchini in rounds, julienned sounds better. Mine also had lemon and basil. I've never tried zucchini flowers. That sounds great.

                    The market was right across the street from Mt. Sinai. It was pretty small -- maybe 5 stalls. But today was their first day for the season (they will go to November they said). So maybe more will come? Not sure.

                    There were two good sized stalls with lots of greens -- lettuces, various chards, arugula, broccoli rabe, bok choy, and also roots w/greens like beets and turnips. A selection of herbs too -- I picked up a bunch of basil (roots on) and a bunch of mint (yay mojitos) for $2 each. They also had shell peas and corn and other stuff. There was one bakery type place. And some fruit people -- lots of blueberries and 2 types of cherries. The fruit -- which I was going to get -- was more expensive than the fruit at W97th St. market. So I'll wait until Friday to get some.

                    So I guess, no, I didn't see anything really unusual. But for me to pop over to the east side on a Wednesday is very easy, esp. if I need something and I won't make it until Friday.

                    1. re: LNG212
                      MMRuth Jul 8, 2009 08:53 AM

                      Thanks - I'll wander up there one day.

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/441966 - the risotto. I believe that I cut the zucchini itself in rounds, but then julienned some of the flowers.

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