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Peas & Broad Beans Risotto – A classic with a twist

I love a good home-made risotto. And over the last few years I tried different versions all of which tasted slightly different but still delicious. But this one I made few days ago is topping all of them.

I used coconut oil for the first time ever and was slightly sceptical but the final result was a sense of pleasure, delight and cleanness… wanting more.

–          Coconut oil (twist No. 1)
–          1 shallot – finely chopped
–          2 garlic gloves – crushed
–          2 celery sticks – finely chopped
–          250 grams arborio risotto rice
–          1 big glass of prosecco (twist No 2) – taste first 🙂
–          1L of home-made hot chicken stock (twist No. 3) – this extra effort is worth it believe me!
–          200 grams of mixed frozen peas and broad beans
–          Basil, mint, chives finely chopped – a good handful in total
–          1 teaspoon butter (real butter!)
–          30 grams grated parmesan plus extra for serving (optional)
–          Lemon
–          Salt, pepper to taste

Instruction

I made my own chicken stock. I know that sounds a lot of work, but is actually not. See my blog here. It is worth the extra effort. Try it out and you will see/taste it for yourself!

Also I used heavy iron casserole pot (twist No 4). Heat the pot over medium heat (careful the iron casserole can get very, very hot), add coconut oil (and smell the amazing coconut flavour which takes you to a far far away land… twist No. 5). Fry shallot, garlic, celery for about 5 minutes. Add risotto rice and fry for 2-3 minutes. Then add prosecco. Again smell the amazing flavour combination. Let the alcohol cook off than start adding chicken stock ladle by ladle. As we all know cooking risotto requires patient and close eye – somehow relaxing. So have a glass of prosecco to enjoy the task (twist No. 6). After 10 minutes add peas and broad beans. Keep stirring and adding more stock (if required). We like our risotto with a bit of a bite. Another 10 minutes the rice has the right bite. Turn heat off. Mix in herbs, butter, grated parmesan. Put lid on and leave for 5 minutes. This will allow the flavours to mix and risotto becomes creamy. Drizzle the lemon juice. Serve immediately! (you wouldn’t be able to resist it any longer).

I found using coconut oil gave risotto much cleaner texture and flavour rather than olive oil or rapeseed/sunflower oil. The reason is that coconut oil is a high heat oil where for example olive oil is not. Means coconut oil doesn’t burn and get smoky/greasy.

Also prosecco worked very well. I guess there isn’t much different between a good quality white wine and a good prosecco.

Happy cooking!

Irina

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Mung Bean salad

This is another recipe of mine which is super easy to make, healthy and so delicious. Very good to take for lunch to work or as side dish with some poached salmon and steamed broccoli. Delish!

–          300 grams dried mung beans (soaked overnight)
–          Generous bunch of fresh herbs – like coriander, parsley, dill
–          1-2 Chillies – bird eyes deseeded
–          1 Lemon and the zest
–          Feta – use original Greek has more flavour and less preservatives
–          Virgin Olive oil
–          Salt, pepper
–          Optional: Pear or carrot (I do shave the carrot with veg peeler – fun!)

Instruction:

Cook mung beans as per pack instruction (takes about 20-25 minutes). Drain, rinse. Leave to cool a little bit.

While the mung beans are cooking chop herbs and chillies put in big bowl. Zest lemon and use the juice. Cut feta in squares. If using pear/carrot cut in nice pieces (or shave carrot). When mung beans are ready put to the bowl with herbs etc. Add splash of olive oil and salt pepper (careful). Give good mix. Taste, season if needed (or add more lemon juice – see my tip). Mix, taste. Done! Cooking doesn’t get easier than that!

Did you know that mung beans are great source of protein, Vitamin C, Calcium and Carbohydrates.

Happy cooking!

Irina

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