Green Risotto with Fava Beans Recipe -
Green Risotto with Fava Beans Recipe
  • READY IN 1 hr

Green Risotto with Fava Beans

Recipe by  

"I can't stress enough how much better this is if it is stirred constantly. If one arm gets tired, switch arms. Taste the rice for doneness before serving. Nothing worse than a plate of crunchy risotto. Try it, and you will find it is well worth it!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    30 mins

    1 hr


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, shell the favas and discard the pods. Boil the favas for 4 minutes, strain and then immediately plunge into ice water. Let cool for 2 minutes then pierce the favas and squeeze them out of their skins. Separate 3/4 of the favas and puree in a food processor.
  2. In a separate large saucepan bring the broth to a simmer, and keep it hot. Meanwhile, in another large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1.5 tablespoons of the butter and add the onions. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes; do not brown the onions. Add the rice and cook, while stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium, and stir constantly. When the wine has been absorbed, add a little of the hot stock. Once the stock is absorbed, add a little more; repeat this process, stirring constantly, until the rice is cooked through.
  3. To the cooked rice add the pureed favas, the remaining 1.5 tablespoons of butter, the rest of the favas and the cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter and cheese melt and the puree is incorporated evenly. Season with salt.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 09, 2003

I feel compelled to say how wonderful this recipe is. I had not tried fava beans before, but now that I am in CA and can get them fresh at the farmers market, I decided to experiment with them. This risotto is creamy and has bright spring flavors. The fava beans are a lot of work to shell and then shell again once cooked. I tasted the cooked shell and it was tasty--I think you may be able to skip the step of shelling the cooked beans. However, the shelled favas are bright green and pretty, so it would be less attractive. This seems authentically Italian. In Italy, they cherish seasonal vegetables, and I am sure that fava bean season is worthy of celebration--this dish is a showcase for the delicate sweetness of the beans.

Most Helpful Critical Review
May 17, 2010

I've just returned from Italy, where I had the wonderful opportunity to have my fill of fava beans and artichokes, both of which are in season now and plentiful. I lamented that I've never been able to get fava beans at home, but no sooner did I return home did I happily stumble upon them in my market! I was eager to use them in this recipe. Because I cooked the risotto long and slow over 40 minutes and using 5 cups of chicken broth, it turned out beautifully, allowing the rice to release all its starch and resulting in a wonderfully creamy risotto. Unfortunately, while the quality of the finished dish couldn't be beat, it tasted of nothing more than the broth it was cooked in. Therefore, it was only average. As for the fava beans, they were only discernible by sight - there weren't enough of them to really make an impact in taste. Lots of effort for a risotto without distinction.


54 Ratings

Feb 09, 2004

This was by far the best risotto I have ever had. I was so creamy! I did end up having to use 6 cups of broth so you might want to keep a bit extra on hand. I just keep tasting until I had the consistency I liked.

Oct 31, 2005

This is delicious! The preparation of the fava beans is a little bit of a pain, I think the next time I will use canned fava beans. Halfway through the stirring process, I thought to myself "I'll never make this again" but when I tasted it, IT IS DEFINITELY WORTH THE WORK, you'll never have a better rice dish! I used regular parmesan cheese and it came out great.

Jul 17, 2006

As a friend said, "I don't know if I'm sold on favas. All that work, and you just end up with a bunch of lima beans!" I bought fava beans at the farmers' market, and this was a delicious way to eat them...but they are a lot of work to prepare. I like all kinds of risotto. I'd make this again with limas and a handful of fresh herbs: Italian parsley, mint, and basil.

Jul 28, 2008

This was FANTASTIC. Here's what I changed: I used a can of lima beans to replace the favas -- it was less work and made limas actually taste good. Also, according to the kind folks at Cooks Illustrated you don't have to: 1) heat the chicken stock before adding it and 2) add little bits at a time. So I skipped both of those steps and dumped the stock in at once, stirring periodically. No gluey risotto here! I also subbed Madiera (since I had it onhand) for the white wine and it was SPECTACULAR. Warning, tho, unless you'd like this to be a main dish (vs. a side) it makes a LOT of risotto. I'm going to freeze my leftovers and see how that goes.

Sep 18, 2006

Excellent; I tried this recipe, however with pine nuts instead of fava beans; te result was a rich risotto with a mid-eastern twist!!!

Mar 06, 2007

Very good risotto and well worth the work! I unshelled only the favas used for decoration and the taste was great...


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  • Calories
  • 457 kcal
  • 23%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 69.5 g
  • 22%
  • Cholesterol
  • 32 mg
  • 11%
  • Fat
  • 11.1 g
  • 17%
  • Fiber
  • 7.9 g
  • 32%
  • Protein
  • 16.5 g
  • 33%
  • Sodium
  • 1414 mg
  • 57%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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