Risotto of the Week | Spring Broad Bean and Foraged Dandelion

I returned home after a lengthy trip to Texas to find spring had sprung: the daffodils were spent and the ferns unfurling.  Nestled amongst said ferns on the shady side of the porch were dandelions, just emerged, with slender leaves and nary a flower in sight.

Which of course meant they are at their peak for eating.

Tonight’s dinner involved a return to cooking with a risotto.  Included were the fruits of my garden weeding – young dandelion leaves – and broad beans, another early spring arrival.

I have many a risotto recipe on this site, choose your favorite then substitute these flavors for those.

Some hints and tips for this batch.

I made a vegetable stock with carrots, peels from shallots, broad bean pods, parsley from the garden and a few dried herbs (bay, juniper, coriander).  I shelled the beans from their pods and poached them in the hot stock for about three minutes.  You could further slip the individual beans from their outer shell, but I didn’t bother.

I used Alessi’s Arborio rice for this batch.  I find this cooks a bit faster than other brands I’ve found.  Weeknights, that’s a help.  I added in the already cooked beans along with the cleaned and chopped in three bits dandelion with the last ladle of stock.  Those cooked for not more than a minute.  I turned off the heat, added a tablespoon of butter (not a normal addition to my risottos, if you’ve been around) and mixed.  I just had a feeling tonight that these beans would want some melted butter.  I garnished with a finely minced mélange of parsley and chives that also popped up in the garden while I was away and a bit of Parmesan.

Turns out I didn’t make enough.

Playlist included Ekki Múkk, by Sigur Rós.

Also: I refuse to call them favas.  Blame it on Anthony Hopkins.

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5 Comments to “Risotto of the Week | Spring Broad Bean and Foraged Dandelion”

  1. Looks great, we will try it. We have been making salads with our dandelion greens, so this risotto will be another good way to use them. It is sooo nice for spring to return, the kale was getting a bit old.Thanks!

  2. The girls loved growing broad beans in the garden last year… there just weren’t enough to keep them satisfied! Thankfully the local farm had them in season… we blanch the beans and slip them out of their little jackets. Blanched edamame and broad bean (soramame) are two of our favorite snacks around here…

  3. Are fava beans and lima beans different? Where are they grown this time of year?

    • They grow favas and limas around here. They are both a fairly early crop, and are closely related, but not the same bean. I prefer favas to limas, but that’s an old childhood hangup, not at all based on the reality of taste.

  4. Hi, we nominated you for a Sunshine Blog Award. We are not sure if you really need it, as you get plenty of attention, but we love the blog and figured “why not”. Thanks- putneyfarm.com

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