Rice and Beans

Well, not exactly. 😉


Fava bean and summer squash risotto with cow’s milk ricotta cheese and basil

A larger version of the pic is here.

1 lb. fava beans in their pods
6 cups vegetable broth
5 T. unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
¾ lb. summer squash, cut into small dice
½ cup cow’s milk ricotta cheese, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic scapes, minced
basil leaves, sliced into a chiffonade

Remove fava beans from pods. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and submerge beans for 1 minute, then blanch in ice water. Slit skin of each bean, pop the beans out and discard the outer skin. Test a bean for tenderness: if hard, simmer for 2 to 8 minutes, until tender. Cover and refrigerate until needed, up to 2 days.

Pour broth into a saucepan, bring to a simmer and keep warm. Place a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven and a large skillet on stove. Divide butter, garlic and shallots between the two pans.

Place Dutch oven over medium heat and sauté garlic and shallots until translucent. Add rice and stir for 2 minutes. Add wine and continue stirring until all the wine is absorbed. Begin stirring in the broth, one ladleful at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next. Meanwhile (after about the second or third ladleful of broth), place skillet over medium-high heat. Stir until garlic is light gold. Add summer squash and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

When most of the broth is incorporated, taste rice; it should be creamy with a slightly firm center. Remove from heat and stir in ricotta. Cover and allow to rest for 1 minute. Meanwhile, return squash mixture to medium heat. Add favas and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir just until mixture is warm, then remove from heat.

Add half the basil to squash and mix gently. Stir remaining basil and garlic scapes into risotto. Place a portion of each on plates and serve immediately.

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