This one is a super easy version of a risotto. Forget standing at the hob stirring – all you do is fry the leeks and garlic, steam the beans, add all the ingredients and put it in the oven to cook. Brilliant! The creaminess of the risotto comes not from patient, methodical stirring but from adding soya cream cheese in at the end. This makes a deliciously fresh yet comforting meal that makes the most of summer veggies and also stars the superfood, edamame.
Edamame beans are young soya beans (which grow in pods.) They are a fantastic source of protein and also of iron and fibre, and they also contain vitamins A and C, folic acid, calcium and omega-3. In this recipe there’s also mint, which is well known for its soothing effects on the gut. It is particularly good for relieving wind, calming indigestion and regulating bowel movements, which will help many people with food intolerances, and can also help to ease muscle spasms that are associated with IBS.
gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free
Serves 4 Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 35 minutes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 leeks, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 350g/12oz/1⅔ cup risotto rice
- 800ml/28fl oz/scant 3¼ cups gluten-free and dairy-free vegetable stock
- 300ml/10½fl oz/scant1¼ cups dry white wine
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 200g/7oz frozen edamame beans
- 600g/1lb 5oz broad beans in their pods, or 150g/5½oz frozen broad beans
- 1 small handful mint leaves, finely chopped, plus a few sprigs for cooking
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 5–6 tbsp soya cream cheese, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400°F/Gas 6. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and fry the leeks for 2–3 minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds then add the rice and stir well, covering the grains of rice with oil.
- Transfer the rice mixture to a large ovenproof dish and add the stock, wine and lemon zest. Stir well, cover with greaseproof paper or foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the edamame and broad beans in a steamer, add the mint sprigs and steam, covered, over a high heat for 4–5 minutes until tender. Remove and discard the mint. Rinse the beans under cold running water, then drain well and leave to cool. If you’re using fresh broad beans, remove and discard the skins from the beans by squeezing them until the beans pop out of the skins. (Of course, you don’t have to do this if you don’t have the time – but they will taste better, if you do.)
- When the risotto has baked for 30 minutes, remove from the oven, stir thoroughly, add the beans and bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice, mint and soya cream cheese and mix well until smooth and creamy. Serve hot.
This is a wonderfully earthy recipe, combining the powerfully-savoury taste of thyme with the substantial broad beans, and the strong pancetta and dairy-free cheese. I use the Cheezly dairy-free cheeses because I think they’re the best on the market – and my favourites are the White Cheddar Style, Red Cheddar Style and the new Blue Style Cheezly. These are all made with soya but if you don’t want to eat soya, they also make a Soya Free Cheezly which is really good.
Broad beans are in season right now (and lovely), so if you can get fresh ones, it’s well worth the extra effort of shelling them (and if you have time to skin them, even better!) But don’t worry if you can only get the frozen variety – this dish will still be delicious.
Gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, seed-free, egg-free, citrus-free
Preparation time 5 minutes Cooking time 20-25 minutes Serves 4
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 250g/9oz/heaped 1 cup arborio or other risotto rice
- 300ml/10½fl oz/scant 1¼ cups organic dry white wine
- 800ml/28fl oz/scant 3¼ cups hot, gluten-, yeast- and dairy-free vegetable stock, or vegetable stock made from gluten-, yeast- and dairy-free stock powder
- 1kg/2lb 4oz broad beans, shelled, or 450g/1lb/heaped 2½ cups shelled broad beans
- 200g/7oz pancetta
- 1½ tbsp chopped thyme leaves
- 1 handful chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
- 75g/2½oz dairy-free cheese, shaved
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2–3 minutes until just starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then lower the heat and stir in the rice until it is well coated in oil.
- Pour a little of the wine into the mixture and stir. Continue cooking over a low heat, gradually adding and stirring in the wine, until it has all been absorbed. Add a ladle of the hot stock and stir until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding and stirring in the hot stock for 18–20 minutes until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Meanwhile, steam the broad beans in a saucepan of boiling water or a steamer for 5-7 minutes, depending on their size, until they are just tender. Remove from the heat, drain and set to one side. (And remove the skins if you have time.)
- Pour the remaining oil into a heavy-based frying pan and heat over a medium heat until hot. Add the pancetta and fry for 4-6 minutes until just crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
- When the risotto mixture is almost cooked, season lightly with salt and pepper to taste and add the beans and pancetta. Stir in carefully and continue to cook for a further minute until the rice is soft but still has a slight bite and all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the thyme (and parsley leaves if using), and sprinkle with the shavings of cheese. Serve immediately.