Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Risotto with Leeks, Broccoli and Black Beans

Last weekend we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Broders' Pasta Bar, for dinner. I always have a hard time choosing what to order from their amazing menu, this is not your pasta & red sauce kind of pasta bar (though you can get that if you really want it). This time I was intrigued by the risotto of the day with ramps, broccoli & turtle beans. Now at first black beans in risotto sounded a little odd to me but when I thought more about it I realized it's just an Italian version of beans & rice. It was so good I told Matt I'd try to replicate it for him at home this week.
Risotto with Leeks, Broccoli & Black Beans
Unfortunately, I couldn't find ramps at either of the farmers markets we went to over the weekend. I substituted a leeks since ramps are, after all, wild leeks. The flavor wasn't exactly the same but it was pretty close. We were lucky to find the first of the baby broccoli of the year though, which had a wonderful flavor. (You could even use frozen broccoli florets in this dish if you can't find fresh yet.)

The sauce in this risotto is relatively simple without any added cheese or cream, I think that actually makes it a little lighter than a lot of risottos. But that means the flavor of the chicken broth is really important so use either homemade or the best store-bought one you can find.

Risotto with Leeks, Broccoli & Black Beans

1/3 c dry black beans (or 2/3 c canned beans, rinsed & drained)
4 c chicken broth
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 T unsalted butter
1 leek, white & light green parts sliced
3/4 c arborio rice
1/4 c white wine
3/4 - 1 c broccoli florets
salt & pepper
fresh Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
grated Parmesan

Simmer the dry black beans in 1 cup of water until tender but not mushy, 2 - 3 hours. Drain & set aside.

Heat the chicken broth to simmering & keep it simmering while cooking.

In a heavy pot, heat the olive oil & butter over medium-heat. Add the leeks & cook for about a minute until starting to get soft. Stir in the rice & cook for another minute. Add the wine & cook, stirring from time to time, until completely absorbed. Start adding the broth about 1/4 - 1/2 cup at a time, stir often & don't add the next addition of broth until the one before it has been completely absorbed. When it looks like you have about 2 additions of broth left, stir in the broccoli with the second to last addition of broth. Stir in the black beans with the last addition of broth. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Serve topped with parsley & grated parmesan

2 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

7 comments:

grace said...

even though i'm not crazy about broccoli or rice, i'd love this solely because black beans are involved. :)

Heather said...

Wow--that looks delicious and very healthy! I have some arborio rice to use up, and this would be a great way to do it. Thanks!

Lo said...

Oh! I LOVE Broders! We try to get there whenever we're in the Minneapolis area. Any place that makes their own pasta gets my vote... but they're spectacular.

Great idea -- and this would be perfect to cure the late winter blues when the only veg out there seems to be broccoli!!

Fresh Local and Best said...

This looks like a good simple risotto recipe. I like that its flavor doesn't rely on the doctoring of butter and cheese like most recipes. This looks good.

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

I'm not sure if I've seen a risotto with beans, but it seems like it will be nice to have the rice and bean textures playing together on the plate.

ToyLady said...

I saw this on your menu plan and was hoping you'd post the recipe soon! :) I just might be able to even get my hands on some late ramps, but if not, I've got a lonely leek in the fridge that needs a purpose.

Thanks. . .

Sandy said...

thanks for the new idea!

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