Courgette, broad bean, sheep’s cheese and mint risotto
Every summer, I grow courgettes and broad beans, especially to make this risotto. I pick the flowers from the plants, too, to scatter over the top. At this time of year, the vegetables are so tender and small that they barely need any cooking, but if you are using larger beans, peel them first. Try to find courgettes that have their flowers still attached, or buy the flowers separately, as they make the dish look so pretty. Use any firm and creamy feta-style sheep’s or goat’s cheese.
This recipe originally featured in the June 2019 edition of House & Garden magazine
- 40g butter
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion,
- finely chopped
- 1.5 litres
- vegetable stock
- 700g risotto rice,
- such as Vialone Nano
- Glass of white wine
- 400g courgettes, sliced very finely, preferably using a mandolin
- 300g shelled broad beans, with any large ones peeled
- 150g sheep’s or goat’s cheese, cut into cubes
- 2 large sprigs mint, leaves only roughly chopped
- 6 courgette flowers, torn into strips
- ½ lemon, zest only
- In a large, heavy based saucepan, heat 20g butter and the oil. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt. Cook gently, for about 10 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the stock to boiling and then turn off the heat.
- Add the rice to the onion, increase the heat slightly, stir well and then fry for a minute before adding the wine.
- When the wine has been absorbed, add a ladle of hot stock and stir. Continue to do this, stirring regularly and always keeping the rice liquid enough so that it does not stick on the bottom. When it is starting to look creamy but the rice still has a chalky bite, add the courgettes, broad beans and a good pinch of salt.
- Continue adding the stock and stirring. When the rice is soft with a bit of bite but no chalkiness, turn off the heat – this will usually take about 20 minutes. Cube the remaining 20g butter and beat in – with a little more stock, if needed – to make a creamy texture that is loose enough to drop from a spoon. Taste for seasoning and add salt and black pepper if required. Finish by gently stirring in the cheese and the chopped mint leaves. Sprinkle over the courgette flowers and the lemon zest to serve.