Risotto with Fresh Fava (Broad) Beans

Fresh fava beans and risotto.

Another classic Italian dish for spring. 

It would normally be served as a first course (as are all pasta and rice dishes in Italy) but I like it as creamy side dish. 

The season for fava beans is fleeting – they are only with us a short time in the spring.

Along with green garlic – when you see them, grab them.

Risotto with Fava (Broad) Beans 

Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes

  • 1/2  – 3/4 cup fava (broad) beans  you’ll need about 1lb (500gr) of pods to start with, you can substitute edamame (soy beans)
  • 1/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) dry, white wine
  • 1 – 1 1/4 cups (10oz, 300ml) chicken stock
  • 2 green garlic   substitute green onion and 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/3 cup (1.5oz, 45gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated

Risotto with Fava Beans


    • Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. 
    • Trim and thickly slice green garlic, using as much green as possible.
    • Peel fava beans.  Can be done earlier
    • In medium sauce pan heat butter; add green garlic, rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. 
    • Add white wine and stir. 
    • When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/4 cup of stock and stir.  
    • When the rice has almost absorbed the stock add another 1/4 cup and stir.  Add the fava beans or edamame with the next 1/4 cup of stock.  Continue adding stock, 1/4 cup at a time, and stirring. 
    • Before the last 1/4 cup is added taste a few kernels of rice.  They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked.  You may not need the last 1/4 cup.  If more stock is needed add it 1/8 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed.  At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – it will not hold it’s shape on a plate.  Stir in the Parmesan.  
    • Pour into a bowl and serve immediately. 

    Peel fava beans: It’s a bit like peas.  Break open the pod and take the beans out.  Don’t bother with any really tiny ones.  Blanch in rapidly boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and put into cold water.
                       After blanching they will have a whitish outer shell.  Just squeeze lightly and the inner, bright green bean will pop out.  It may split in half… that’s okay.

    We love spring vegetables…..

    But it’s an expensive season, chez nous.  We went to the green grocers yesterday and, what with the asparagus (green and white), artichokes, green garlic, fresh strawberries, fava beans, snow peas and the rest, spent over 40 euros for the week.

    Yes, we will eat well….

    But we always do – eat well, that is.

    But during the summer and fall we eat from the potager, and during the winter we eat from what’s left from the potager.

    Spring is the only time I have to buy all of our vegetables.  Thankfully, they’re worth it! 

    And speaking of value….

    These are the earrings I recieved from posting a link on my blog.

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    I will also admit to being very pleased with the size and color. 

    I got another email from them, offering a discount to any of my readers on any purchase – so there you have it.  Here it is:

    “Valid for any purchase from April 9th, 2012 until May 31st, 2012. It is a code for 10% off your whole purchase. We sincerely appreciated all that you did for us. Also, we would LOVE for you to share the code with your readers! Please post the code under your review or simply create a new post. The code is: SHOP10. It is case sensitive so please be aware. We want to create the best experience for you and your readers, as well as sharing our great designs with the world!”

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    7 thoughts on “Risotto with Fresh Fava (Broad) Beans”

    1. No fava beans here yet. I’ll have to wait a bit longer, since we are having a wet spring. I never tried making risotto with edamame.

    2. We don’t get fava beans here except for frozen…I imagine this to be delicious! We do have a local version called patani whose season is likewise fleeting…I love them!

    3. Sounds great! I love both risotto and “broad” beans! We will have fresh broad beans grown by my Mother in law in a few weeks, will remember this recipe for them!

    4. As a child I loathed broad beans as they were served by my mother in those horrible bitter pods. Now I adore that sweet bean even though podding them is a bit arduous !!

    5. Phoenicia, I love them… especially the free part
      Simona, we get them early here. The edamame are good – but I can’t get them here. I used them in the US – where I couldn’t get fava beans LOL
      Joey, it’s all about whatever is fresh and local ;-))
      Jayne, lucky you – really fresh ones!
      manningroad, I do it while watching TV – or sitting outside watching the puppies ; -)
      five finicky eaters – hope you have a bumper crop!

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