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This spring risotto is the perfect dish for early spring. All the warming, comforting deliciousness you’ve come to depend on after a long winter but with the zesty, bright, green flavours of fresh spring broad beans and peas. Risotto was one of the first dishes I remember making as a kid. It was my go-to when it was my turn to cook at home. I would almost never stray from the classic mushroom. As wonderful as a mushroom risotto can be, I love the fresh greenness of a spring veg risotto, with lots of lemony herby bright flavour. Now, you don’t have to use fresh broad beans and peas, if you can’t find them or are running short on time. As lovely and therapeutic as it is shelling all the peas and beans yourself, frozen ones will work just fine, too. Don’t hesitate to use this recipe as a basis for any other lovely spring veg as well. Asparagus works a treat and goes really nicely with leek substituted in place of the onion. Chop the asparagus as you like and add towards the end as you would with the broad beans and peas. The anchovy aioli is a gift that will keep giving beyond this recipe, enjoy it on a sandwich or add it to almost any savoury dish to jazz it up.
2 cups broad beans
1 cup peas
2 cups arborio rice
2 litres vegetable stock
1 cup dry white wine or cider
2 brown onions, diced
4-6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
100ml olive oil
Juice of 1-2 lemons
1 bunch of chives
2-3 baby spring onions
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons anchovy aioli
A small handful of chopped fresh parsley, to serve
1 egg yolk
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon seeded mustard
Lots of black pepper
30g parmesan, grated finely
100ml olive oil
100ml neutral oil
2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Let’s start with our anchovy aioli. Into a food processor add all ingredients except the oils. Pulse a few times until well combined and no large chunks of garlic remain.
Now with the food processor running, stream in the olive oil very slowly. Pausing a couple of times if you need to, to make sure it’s emulsifying nicely. Then repeat with the neutral oil.
You should have a nice creamy speckled aioli which will keep well for a couple of weeks in your fridge stored in an airtight jar. We’ll only use some of it in this recipe, but you’ll be happy to have a little spare because it goes well with everything.
Now let’s start our risotto. Prepare your stock in a large saucepan on the back burner over a low heat. If you don’t have fresh stock, good quality stock cubes or stock powder will be just fine – make up 2 litres.
In a large fry pan, heat your olive oil and then add your onion and garlic. Season generously with salt. Cook over medium/low heat for 5-8 minutes or until slightly translucent, fragrant and soft.
Add rice and toss through the oily onion and garlic well. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, until the rice grains take on a partially translucent look. Add wine and cook for a further couple of minutes, stirring constantly again.
Once the alcohol has cooked off and the rice is no longer swimming in liquid, add a ladle-full of stock and stir constantly until absorbed. Repeat this step until your rice is almost al dente, approximately 30 minutes.
Add your broad beans and peas, along with the last ladle-full of stock and stir. Check your rice, it should be cooked through but al dente. If yours has thickened too much, add a ladle of water and stir through to help loosen. I like my risotto quite wet, but feel free to do this to your liking.
Add your chopped chives and spring onions, lemon juice, sour cream and a couple of tablespoons of your yummy anchovy aioli. Combine.
Serve into bowls, top with some fresh parsley, another dollop of sour cream and aioli, a good drizzle of olive oil and enjoy.
Clementine Day is a self-taught cook who lives and works on Wurundjeri Land in Melbourne, Australia. She runs Some Things I Like To Cook, an evolving project that celebrates the joy of food, drawing a meaningful connection between food, people and play.
With a relaxed and unfussy approach, Clementine’s recipes empower even the most inexperienced of cooks to create memorable experiences based around the simple act of eating and entertaining. She is passionate about encouraging others to have fun and trust their intuition in the kitchen, and her candid, refreshing approach to recipe writing feels like having a supportive best friend alongside as your cooking companion.
Clementine works on collaborative projects with a vast array of different creatives. This includes recipe development and contribution, dining projects, food styling, private lunches and dinners, and creative food publications. In 2020, Clementine released her first cookbook Coming Together, a collection of recipes based on six long lunches she hosted with friends, which she cooked, photographed, styled and self-published.
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