Mizuna and Fava Bean Risotto

Until recently, Risotto was always one of those things that I never attempted to cook, I would order it out in a restaurant – too much effort!  I also try to adhere to a gluten free diet as much as possible and for years I was confused between Orzo – which is a pasta made from durum wheat and Risotto – which is a short grain variety of rice.

As I  began to read about more about Risotto on cooking blogs it prompted me to try it at home.  The key here is PATIENCE.  Now that said, if you are going to make it with brown rice as I did below, then double the amount of PATIENCE because it will take over an hour to cook this dish.  There are so many varieties of rice used in Italy to prepare this dish, I had no idea!  Arborio is probably the most well known and widely available here in the U.S.  You can also try using a quick cook type of rice that would probably cut the time in half to prepare.

Risotto with Fava Beans

3 T olive
1 cup of chopped onion, Texas Sweet if you got ’em
3 minced garlic cloves
2 cups of short grain California grown brown rice (Lundberg’s is my favorite)
2/3 cup of white wine
6 – 7 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (room temperature)
1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1 bunch of mizuna, chopped
1 lb fava beans, lightly steamed and shelled
(see this post on how to prepare the fava beans)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for several minutes until soft.  Add the garlic and brown rice. Stir for about 3 minutes to coat rice with oil. Pour in the wine and let it absorb, 1-2 minutes.

Begin adding the chicken stock to the pan one cup at a time and stirring frequently. When the stock is almost completely absorbed add the next cup and keep repeating this process until the rice is almost done.  I used 6 cups of chicken stock but depending on how soupy you like it, you may need an extra cup.  After about an hour take a few grains of rice out and test it for doneness, it should still be somewhat chewy, you don’t want it totally soft.   It will take between 60-75 minutes before the rice is done if you use the short grain – using a quick cook type of rice, I would cut the time to about 20-30 minutes.

One the rice is done, stir in the parmesan cheese and mizuna and add a lid to the top to steam just until the greens are wilted – 3-5 minutes.  Add the fava beans with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, stir and serve!

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