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Risotto con Verdure RECIPE

This recipe was contributed by Shirley Cline.

Shirley was a great inspiration when I first started working on the idea of creating a recipe and cooking web site. Not only did she encourage me but she also supplied a great many recipes and other pieces which are featured throughout the site. Her great achievement was to teach me to cook risotto over the internet!

Although I never had the chance to meet Shirley, or even talk to her, I regarded her as a good friend. It was with great sadness that I learnt that she passed away in Autumn 2004 and that there would be no more emails. I think she will be sadly missed by a lot of people like me to whom she gave such pleasure with the sharing or her recipes. The pleasure my children have had from her recipe for Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint - not to mention the fights for seconds - has been a joy to behold.


1/2 pound broccoli (about 1 medium-size stalk)
1 cup blanched and peeled shelled fava beans or frozen baby lima beans
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced scallions (about 6)
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 1/2 cups Arborio  rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 1/2 cups hot Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, or as needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

  • Cut the florets from the broccoli stems. Keep the florets small - they have to fit on a spoon. Peel the broccoli stems with a small knife or vegetable peeler, then cut them into 2-inch pieces.
  • Steam the florets just until bright green, about 1 minute.
  • Steam the stems until very tender, about 4 minutes.
  • Reserve the steaming liquid.
  • Transfer the stems to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. You will probably have to add some of the steaming liquid to make a smooth mixture. Scrape the puree into a small bowl and set the florets and puree aside.
  • If using baby lima beans, cook them in a small saucepan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain them thoroughly and set aside.
  • In a heavy, wide, 3 to 4 quart casserole or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Cook the scallions and shallots together until translucent, stirring often, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil.
  • Toast the rice until the edges become translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the wine and stir well until evaporated. 
  • Add 1/2 cup of the hot stock and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until all the stock has been absorbed.
  • Continue to add hot stock in small batches - just enough to completely moisten the rice-and cook until each successive batch has been absorbed.
  • About 12 minutes after the first addition of stock, stir in the broccoli puree and the favas or limas.
  • About 3 minutes after that, stir in the broccoli florets.
  • Stir constantly and adjust the level of heat so the rice is simmering very gently until the rice mixture is creamy but al dente. This will take about 18 minutes from the first addition of stock.
  • Remove the casserole from the heat and beat in the butter first until melted, then the grated cheese.
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary, and pepper. S
  • erve immediately, ladled into warm shallow bowls.

Serves 6

Shirley Cline