19 August 2010

Double Take: Green Bean Risotto

We've headed away from the sweet, fruity dishes and back into the land of savory, where I am much more comfortable. I enjoyed perfecting a pastry crust and learning about shortcakes, but I'm ready for something with a bit less sugar. Enter: Green Bean Risotto

Green beans boiling in a ridiculously tiny amount of chicken broth.

Hubby and I love green beans. I buy them by the pound, probably a couple times a week. I've roasted them, blanched them, and lately have been sautéing with the tiniest bit of bacon fat. Yum. But I'd never thought to add them to a risotto. We generally stick to peas, so I was excited to try something new.

If you've been following me for a while, you will know that I made risotto for my first Daring Cooks Challenge. Since then I've made it several times and have been very pleased with the results. Most recipes I've used called for two cups of rice, so I was pleased to see this recipe called for only one cup... and therefore would not have oodles of leftovers. It's been way too hot to make my own chicken broth, but I highly recommend making your own for this dish. It takes a good dish to great! 

Green Bean Risotto is found in a perfectly natural section of this cookbook: Yay! It's on page 342 in Pasta, Rice, and Grains. Even better: a look in the index for risotto will give you three options: Risotto, Lemon Lime Risotto, and Green Bean Risotto. I was thrilled to find a recipe that actually worked in the index! Then I started looking at the recipe and got fairly worried. The recipe asks you to boil an entire pound of green beans in 1/4 cup of liquid. There's no way that mean green beans will fit in that amount of liquid, particularly if you are using the wide pan I was using. In the description of risottos, the Southern Living Cookbook gives you the basics, including one important step at the end: Stir in butter and cheese before serving. But you'll notice that this recipe only calls for cheese at the end... no butter. Another important step mentioned in the risotto explanation: Sauté rice with onion until browned. I still haven't figured out why the Green Bean Risotto has you add the wine with the rice. Needless to say, I took some creative license (I like to call it common sense in this case) and added some butter at the end and sautéd the rice before adding the wine. 

Thin rice grains sautéing with red onions

Green Bean Risotto


1  pound  fresh green beans
1  (32-ounce) container low-sodium chicken broth, divided (vegetable broth will work too!)
1/4  cup  butter or margarine
1  red onion, coarsely chopped
2  garlic cloves, pressed
1  cup  uncooked Arborio rice
1  cup  dry white wine or chicken broth
1  teaspoon  chopped fresh thyme
1/2  teaspoon  pepper
1  cup  shredded Parmesan cheese

Chubby rice grains gradually soaking up the chicken broth and wine. 


Trim beans, and cut into bite-size pieces. Bring beans and 1/4 cup broth to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; cook 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove beans with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Bring remaining broth to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil), keeping warm over low heat. Add butter, chopped onion, and garlic to broth in Dutch oven; cook 3 minutes. Add rice and white wine, and cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Reduce heat to medium.

Add 1 cup simmering broth to rice mixture in Dutch oven, and cook, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed. Repeat procedure with remaining broth, 1 cup at a time. (Cooking time is about 15 to 20 minutes.)Stir in beans, thyme, pepper, and Parmesan cheese; serve immediately.

I can't think of anything better than a big ol' pile of Parm!

Wow, that's a lot of wine! I hope you like your wine! Wow, that's a lot of Parmesan! I've been given strange looks when asking about sweet onions in Germany, but I'm 90% certain my red onions were sweet, which did not mix particularly well with the concentrated, citrusy wine. I'd recommend halving it at least (although, if you really like your wine and citrusy risotto, by all means add it all). We were both a little off-put by the green beans. The size and crunch just didn't work as well with the rice as peas do. Perhaps if I'd cooked them a bit longer they would have been better (I was afraid of overcooking them), but in the meantime I'll go back to peas. Or mushrooms. 

Green bean risotto with grilled chicken (in a spice rub of course!)

There-are-better-risottos-out-there: 2 votes

For Tabitha's verdict on Green Bean Risotto, head on over to Double the Garlic

1 comment:

  1. It looks pretty good, but I don't see why you would ruin prefectly good green beans with risotto!---Minute rice on the side maybe.


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