The last time I was in Chapel Market, the veggie stall family were selling 2 large bags of green beans for £1.50. So, of course, I went for the bargain and then realised that it’s really quite hard to eat that many green beans when you’re just cooking for yourself.
Luckily, risotto freezes. And I had arborio rice and parmesan in the house.
(If you have the Essex Road Recipe card deck, then this is the same as whistling green pea risotto, but substitutes green beans for the asparagus and green peas.)
1 large onion
4 sticks of celery
4 garlic cloves
1 litre of hot stock (I like to use veggie stock, but you can use chicken) – keep this by the stove in a jug, or in a pan on a low heat.
2 big handfuls of trimmed and chopped (about 2cm length) green beans – probably about 30-40 beans.
400 g risotto rice
a glass of white wine
100 g grana padano or parmesan cheese. Grana padano is less salty and a little creamier.
A knob of butter.
salt and pepper
What to do. …roughly speaking:
Chop the onion, celery and garlic very finely.
Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan until smoking, and add the chopped veg. Stir it all around quickly for a few seconds and then turn down the heat, put a lid on the pan and sweat the veg for about 5 minutes. Take off the lid, turn up the heat a bit and add the rice. Keep stirring. Add the wine. Keep stirring. When the rice has absorbed the wine, start to add the stock – a little (about 100 ml) at a time. Wait until the rice has absorbed the liquid before you add any more. Taste the rice from time to time to see how you’re doing. When the rice is almost cooked (after about 20 minutes), add the chopped raw green beans. Keep cooking until the rice is cooked (when it’s no longer gritty in the middle, its done). You may not need all the stock. Or you may need a little more.. The beans should still be slightly crunchy. Turn off the heat and add the butter and most of the grated cheese – mix it all around thoroughly. Taste it and add salt and pepper if you like.
Serve immediately or allow to cool and freeze in individual portions in small freezer bags.