Broad bean risotto

Season: Spring

Type: Big dishes

imageDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4 at home or 24 tastes in the classroom

Fresh from the garden: broad beans, onions, parsley, fennel, leeks, lemons

Recipe source: Adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Cooking with Kids


  • metric measuring spoons and cups
  • chopping boards & non-slip mats
  • 1 medium knife
  • mezzaluna
  • medium saucepan
  • salad spinner
  • wooden spoon
  • ladle
  • heavy-based saucepan
  • scales
  • colander
  • bowls – 3 small, 2 medium, 1 large
  • grater
  • juicer
  • serving plates

  • 250 g broad beans, podded
  • 25 g parmesan
  • 1 small onion
  • 5 stalks parsley
  • handful fennel tops (or dill)
  • 1 large leek
  • 4 cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock
  • 20 g butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ lemon
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
What to do

  • Set out your ingredients.

Prepare the broad beans

  • Fill the medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Place the colander in the sink. Drop the broad beans into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Tip the broad beans and water into the colander and cool quickly with cold water.
  • Double peel the broad beans by slipping each bean out of its tough skin into a medium bowl, using your fingers. Place the tough skins in the compost bin.

Prepare the other ingredients

  • Grate the parmesan into a small bowl – you’ll need about 3 tablespoons,
  • Peel and finely chop the onion.
  • Rinse the parsley and fennel tops and dry in the salad spinner. Chop and place in a small bowl.
  • Cut the leek into fine rings and soak in a large bowl of cold water, swishing the rings with your fingers to release any dirt or sand. Lift the rings into the salad spinner and dry then set aside.
  • Juice the lemon and set aside.

Cook the risotto

  • Rinse the saucepan used to boil the beans. Pour in the stock and heat over medium heat. Turn the heat to low and leave the stock, with the ladle in it.
  • Heat the heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, and add the butter and olive oil.   Tip in the onion and leek and stir until the vegetables are soft. Tip in the rice and stir to ensure that every grain is well coated with the buttery juice.
  • Add a ladleful of hot stock, stirring all the time. The rice will absorb the hot stock and start to swell. Continue to add a ladleful of stock as the last one disappears, stirring all the time. Use all but a couple of ladlefuls of stock (you’ll use this later).
  • After 15 minutes, taste the rice. It should be just a little bit nutty in the centre of each grain. Add the broad beans and the last 1 – 2 ladlefuls of stock, stirring. Taste for salt and pepper.
  • After an extra 5 minutes, stir in the fennel tops, herbs, lemon juice and parmesan, and give the risotto a final stir. Cover the pan for 3 – 4 minutes before serving.


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