CHEF NICO'S RISOTTO VERDURE RECIPE

A winter warmer, this risotto verdure is full of greens. Healthy, light and delicious!

INGREDIENTS FOR TWO PEOPLE:

100g of shelled broad beans (800g in the pod)
Half a chopped onion
1 small garlic clove
6 spears of asparagus
650cl good quality chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil, 50g butter
175g Arborio rice (or Carnaroli or Vialone)
50ml dry white wine
50g gr of shelled peas
1 small courgette, sliced
50g cooked French beans, cut in half
50g baby spinach
1 teaspoon of chopped, flat leaf parsley
50g Parmesan or similar Italian hard cheese, finely grated
A pinch of salt and pepper

METHOD:

Cook in 18 minutes (if the stock is ready)

1. If using fresh broad beans drop them into boiling water, leave for one minute and then drain and cool under cold water before peeling off their skins. For frozen broad beans just thaw then peel. Finely chop onions and garlic and snap the woodly bases from asparagus spears before cooking it.

2. Pour the stock into a separate pan and bring to the simmer.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy, wide pan. Tip in the onions and garlic and cook for 3 - 4 mins, stirring frequently until they are soft and see-through but not brown. With the heat on medium, add the rice and keep it moving with a wooden spoon for a minuite until it gets very hot and toasted, but not coloured. Once it starts to sizzle, pour in the wine and keep stirring for about a minute.

4. Now add two ladles of stock to the pan, letting the contents simmer but not boil. Keep stirring until all the liquid is absorbed. Continue to stir and add another ladleful of stock once the previous amount has been absorbed. If you add too much stock at a time the risotto won't be as creamy. The rice will tell you when it needs more stock - you will hear it sigh and when you pull a spoon across the bottom of the pan it should leave a clear line.

5. After 8 - 10 mins add the broad beans, courgettes and peas to the rice. Then add more stock and taste for seasoning. Next, add the asparagus and French beans. Start tasting the rice now too - when done it should be softened but with a bit of bite in the centre and the risotto should be creamy. Overcooking will just make it mushy. Continue adding stock and stirring for about 6 - 7 mins until done. Take pan off the heat, add half the Parmesan and the rest of the butter plus a splash of stock. Leave to rest for two minutes and garnish with the aspargus spears before serving.