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Green Risotto with Fava Beans and Peas

Sadly, this side dish can only be made in the spring, when fresh fava beans are in season. The gentle green color of the dish, along with the delicate flavor will surely make you believe spring is in the air.

5 cups spring or filtered water
extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
sea salt
1 cup Arborio rice, do not rinse
1/2 cup mirin or white wine
1 cup fresh fava beans
1 cup fresh peas 
4-5 sprigs fresh parsley, finely minced, for garnished

Place the water in a saucepan over low heat and keep warm throughout the cooking. Place a small amount of oil in a deep skillet, with the garlic and onion, over medium heat. When the vegetables begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and saute until the onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in rice and saute until just coated with oil. Add mirin and reduce heat to low. When the rice has absorbed the mirin, begin adding warm water, by ladles, stirring the rice frequently, and only adding more liquid as it is absorbed. The total cooking time should be 25-30 minutes, yielding creamy rice that still has some firmness. 

While the rice is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the fava beans until tender, 7-10 minutes. Strain out and in the same water, blanche the peas, about 1 minute. Drain and mix gently with the fava beans. Remember to shell the fava beans after blanching. When the rice is just about ready, when you have added the final ladle of water to the risotto, season to taste with salt and stir in the cooked fava beans and peas, allowing them to cook in the risotto for the final minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving platter and serve garnished with fresh parsley. 

Makes 4-5 servings.


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