Broad bean bonanza – Broad bean, lemon and thyme risotto

Our weather here in New Zealand has suddenly reverted back to winter – it’s cold, grey and windy. Where is spring?

Risotto is always such comfort food, and when it’s dismal outside, comfort food is what I crave. So with yet more fresh broad beans from the vege garden needing to be used up, what better way to do it, than in a risotto?

I used this recipe for Broad Bean, Lemon and Thyme Risotto from womenandhome.com. It’s a very simple recipe that only used a few ingredients, but the end result was fantastic! Just what you’d expect from a risotto – hot melty cheesy rice, with fresh sweet pops of broad beans still with a bit of bite to them (because I added them right at the end to avoid that awful grey colour they can sometimes take on when they’ve been cooked for too long).

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Next year, when our vege garden is yet again heaving under the weight of a massive crop of broad beans I will definitely be making this again.

Broad bean bonanza series – Bean, mint and ricotta ravioli

The broad beans in our garden have been taking over lately, so in an effort to use them up, eat seasonally, and try a few new recipes, I am starting Broad Bean Bonanza… a series of bean recipes that will continue until we run out of beans!

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Broad beans taking over from the broccoli and weeds!

 

My husband harvested the beans that were ready to eat, but there are still quite a few small ones left to keep growing.

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A bucket load of beans

Looking at the quantity ┬áhe had picked I was a bit reluctant to start shelling them thinking it would take absolutely ages, but once you get into a rhythm it’s really quite therapeutic!

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And the result… a whole bowl full ready for eating.

The beautiful sweet little beans look like jewels, they are almost too pretty to eat… I said ALMOST. When they are young and straight from the pod they don’t need to have the outside casing removed, they are full of flavour and crunch – I don’t blanch them either.

I crushed them with mint, ricotta, olive oil, salt and pepper to make a ravioli filling. Delicious!

Fresh pasta rolled out and ready for filling
Fresh pasta rolled out and ready for filling

And the end result… SO good! It was worth all the time and effort spent growing, weeding, watering, harvesting, shelling, and cooking.

Eating time!
Eating time!

The ravioli doesn’t need any sauce – you want to taste the filling. I served it drizzled with olive oil, and topped with parmesan, mint and pepper.