Monday, 5 July 2010

Marrow and broad bean risotto

 I mentioned in my last  post that I would write something about marrows, so here we are!  I think, as vegetables go, marrows are fairly exciting.  To start with, they are quite big and can be huge!  Secondly, I think anything that has stripes just looks good.  Marrows are the tigers of the vegetable world.  Truly, a vegetable to admire.  Handily, they taste pretty good to, if you cook them right.  This is one vegetable that I would not recommend eating raw.  As far as I am aware, doing so won't do you any harm, it just doesn't taste that great.  So, I decided to turn this marrow into a risotto.

 This is very easy to do.  Simply wash the marrow and then cut it into roughly 1cm cubes.  Meanwhile, heat some oil in a heavy-based sauce pan (olive or rape-seed oil works very well) and when hot, add some finely chopped onion.  Cook the onion until it is nice and soft and just starting to turn brown.  Now, add about half a cup of risotto rice.  I use Arborio rice, which is particularly good I think.  Stir the rice around with the onion and then add enough chicken stock to just cover the rice and onion.  Then, put the lid on the sauce pan and leave it simmering for a while.  Keep an eye on it and when it looks like most of the fluid has been absorbed, add a little more to again just cover the rice.  For half a cup of rice, you'll want about 450ml of chicken stock.  You may want to give it a stir from time to time as well to make sure it doesn't stick and burn in the bottom of the pan.

 Once you've added about half the stock, add the chopped marrow.  Now, I have chosen to add broad beans as well, because they are in season right now, so these can go in at the same time.  Flavour the dish with some freshly chopped sage, ground black pepper and a pinch of sea salt.  A knob of butter really adds to the flavour, but is optional.  Stir it around and add the rest of the stock.  Put the lid on the pan and leave it to simmer until the marrow has gone really soft and most of the fluid has been absorbed.  That's it!

 Now, a risotto should really be served with Parmesan cheese, but of course that's not British.  So, I have to admit I went without the cheese, but it would be really good to be able to find a good British alternative to Parmesan.  I shall investigate this.


Anonymous said...

Coincidently someone has grown a tonne of broad beans (by accident - a bean mix up) (JB) and this weekend was wondering what to do with them and someone (KF) suggested that they have a look at your blog! And here we have it - a broad bean recipe! psychic or just pseasonal? (at least I think it was broad beans....)

Oh and good old cheddar would have been good with it I'd say.


Anonymous said...

This risotto is way too watery! Also missing out the Parmesan is not really risotto anyway.

Dr. B said...

Thanks for the comments! I have to say that I agree with MBB that a nice, mature chedder would probably do the trick in terms of cheese. Anonymous has pointed out that it was rather watery, which is true. Of course, a risotto should be thick and creamy and in the end, this one was a bit on the thin side. The issue is to do with the ratio of stock to rice and I think I could have got away with using a little less stock. Next time I cook this dish, I shall try that and see how it works out.

Jenna said...

That's one awesome looking marrow! Beautiful stripes; seems almost a shame to cut it. :)