Simply Delicious

August 1, 2008 at 9:08 pm 14 comments

Bundle of green beans

Whew, Friday night!  Finally!  Instead of going out to unwind in a bar with my peeps, I thought I’d stay home and tell you about this Green Bean Risotto.  In truth, I could really use a plate of this tonight.  I’m a little tattered around the edges after a long week of intense classes on such inspiring topics as agronomy (the science of soils) and entomology (the science of bugs), not to mention mathematics for professionals in the green industry.  I’m sure you can judge by my tone that I’m not a huge science and math fanatic.  I signed up for all of this classroom fun though so I could be a better organic and sustainable grower, and thus am ultimately pleased as punch to be learning about mud and bugs and (eek) converting improper fractions so I can better construct a greenhouse should I ever choose to do such. 

arborrio rice

Is it any surprise then that I’d like a substantial serving of some of the best comfort food imaginable?  Too bad I ate all of it the same day I made it, which happened to be earlier this week, before the pop quiz in botany when my nerves began their unfortunate decent into “frazzled”. 

Okay, I have a secret to share.  No, it’s not the formula for calculating the volume of a square container with tapered sides (I’m not kidding; I have to learn this stuff), but it’s pretty shocking nonetheless.  Here it is: I’ve never made my own risotto before.  GASP!   Seriously, I haven’t.  I always squirmed at the idea of standing around and stirring the stuff for 20 minutes.  And frankly, no risotto I’d had out somewhere had ever piqued my interest enough to make the effort seem worthwhile.

Green Bean Risotto

Of course I had to pick the hottest, most humid, late summer day to finally try risotto at home (which, for those of you that are risotto virgins too, involves not one, but two steamy pots right under you the entire time).  Perspiration included (but not in the dish, I’m pretty sure…), it was absolutely, positively, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt worth it to make risotto at home!  Yes, it was a tad time consuming, but I kept a notepad and pen handy while I was stirring and just jotted down my grocery list and then my to-do list and then a list of friends I really should take the time to call, if only I’d been smart enough to charge my phone before starting to stir…you get the idea. 

Stirring the risotto

I didn’t find any recipes specifically calling for green beans, so I modified Elsie’s (who I trust implicitly) straight-forward one for asparagus.  The final dish was creamy and filling, yet somehow superbly summery, thanks to the fresh flavor of the green beans.   This dish is by far the best way I’ve come up with yet to use up my beans, and since the Mexican bean beetles are starting to get the best of my bean plants, I might not have many more.  If so, the risotto was a fitting finale.

Dinner is served 

Green Bean Risotto
Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 lb. fresh green beans
3 T. butter
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 C. uncooked arborio rice
1/2 C. dry white wine
3 ½ – 4 C. vegetable stock 
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the beans by breaking off the ends and snapping them into 1 inch pieces. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Blanch the bean pieces for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain from the cold water and set aside.

In a 3 or 4 quart saucepan, heat the butter on medium heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring until nicely coated.  While the onion is cooking, bring the stock to a simmer in another saucepan.
Add the wine. Slowly stir, allowing the rice to absorb the wine. Once the wine is almost completely absorbed, add 1/2 cup of stock to the rice.

Continue to stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed, adding more stock in 1/2 cup increments. Stir often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Gently stir in the Parmesan cheese and the beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

(serves 4)

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Entry filed under: Purely Vegetables, Recipes. Tags: , , , , .

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14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. [eatingclub] vancouver || js  |  August 1, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Lovely. I love green beans with risotto.

    Reply
  • 2. Christine  |  August 2, 2008 at 8:31 am

    I confess, I’ve never made risotto either. I love it in restaurants, but I’ve always had the same impression — standing around stirring something for half an hour is not usually my idea of “making dinner”. But I am inspired by your success, and willing to try!

    Reply
  • 3. sue bette  |  August 2, 2008 at 8:49 am

    For your first risotto your consistency looks perfect!! I am looking forward to trying this recipe, I have a pound of green beans in my fridge ready to go!

    Reply
  • 4. Jennie  |  August 2, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Thanks, Vancouver and Sue! :) The consistency did seem just perfect when I ate it and I hope I can duplicate it for the next batch.

    Christine – Come over for risotto anytime! We can take turns stirring and chatting. :) If I’d had my phone while I was stirring this batch, you’d have been the first call I made. :)

    Reply
  • 5. Beth  |  August 2, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    I love your blog…the photos are amazing, and the food inspiring. Don’t remember how I stumbled upon it, but I’m glad I did.

    Another risotto worth getting sweaty in the kitchen for is a beet risotto with greens. It is stunningly beautiful, and fantastically delicious. It looks like a plate full of glistening rubies. Deborah Madison’s cookbook Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone has this recipe if you’re interested in giving it a whirl. Would love to see some photos of that dish!

    Reply
  • 6. Mary  |  August 3, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I just KNEW you’d have something good to do with my green bean crop that’s coming in!

    Reply
  • 7. 10yearchallenge  |  August 4, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Looks great!!! Our growing season started very late this year so I still don’t have any green beans, but will be coming back to this recipe as soon as I do.

    I’m also planning on checking out many of our sustainable agriculture links. :-)

    Sandy

    Reply
  • 8. gintoino  |  August 6, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Humm, your first risoto is it? I do risoto all the time and love it! Never done it with green beans though. Tried it last weekend and it really was good. I used yellow beans instead of green beans (have to use whats growing in the veg garden…) and added a bit or coriander leaves (cilantro) at the end. Delicious!
    Now that you started making risoto you should try green asparagus risoto (my favourite)

    Reply
  • 9. Jennie  |  August 9, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Gintoino – I know, it’s shameful that I had not made risotto before. I will be making many from now on though. I’m glad you tried the recipe! Your changes sound fantastic. I will definitely try the asparagus risotto next spring when asparagus comes back in season here. What other risottos recipes do you have that I should try? I’d love some ideas! :)

    Reply
  • 10. Rhubarb & Port Risotto « Straight from the Farm  |  December 8, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    […] and not try to stretch my vocabulary any more.  As recently as this past August I made my very first risotto and only had one small regret: it was steamy hot summer.  Risottos are definitely a dish for cold […]

    Reply
  • 11. Roasted Asparagus Risotto « Straight from the Farm  |  May 16, 2009 at 11:54 am

    […] if you recall, is relatively new to the Straight from the Farm kitchen, but I’ve been making plenty of it since I first started last summer.  The creamy robust […]

    Reply
  • 12. Amiga emulator  |  September 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    This was tasty:) Thanks for this great recipe!

    Reply
  • 13. Olivia  |  June 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I have never made a risotto either…and it turned out fabulous! Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
  • 14. Roulette  |  July 14, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Hello there, You have done an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg it and for my part suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this site.

    Reply

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