Ok. Let’s admit it: I am not a frequent cook. Among my acquaintances, I am most appreciated as a food consumer (apparently because of my inborn appetite which I like to describe as “healthy”, whereas other people inexpicably tend to classify it as “abnormal” – which inevitably makes me think of my beloved cult-movie, The Young Frankenstein by Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder:
Dr. Frankenstein: Ah! Very good. Would you mind telling me whose brain I DID put in? Igor: Then you won’t be angry?
Dr. Frankenstein: I will NOT be angry.
Igor: Abby someone.
Dr. Frankenstein [pause, then] Abby someone. Abby who?
Igor: Abby… Normal.
Dr. Frankenstein: [pause, then] Abby Normal?
Igor: I’m almost sure that was the name.
Dr. Frankenstein [chuckles, then] Are you saying that I put an abnormal brain into a seven and a half foot long, fifty-four inch wide GORILLA?
[grabs Igor and starts throttling him]
Dr. Frankenstein: Is that what you’re telling me?
Anyway, going back to cooking, let’s say – then – that if not a frequent cook, I am a sometime cook. And as a sometime cook I prefer using seasonal vegetables, when available.
Let me now share a recipe I found on a magazine and which I re-interpreted for my family.
Risotto Primavera (Springtime “risotto”).
All you need is: rice, broad beans, artichokes, one onion, thyme, goat’s milk cheese, white wine, vegetable broth and, of course, olive oil, salt and pepper (I deliberately chose not to tell you the quantities – it depends on your personal taste).
The whole process is very simple: afer washing the vegetables you eliminate the hard artichokes leaves and slice artichokes in thin slices.
Then you put the artichoke slices and broad beans in a pan with olive oil (just a couple of spoons if you are on a diet). Then you add little by little (for about 15 minutes) the vegetable broth you previously prepared with fresh thyme in it (I know it’s a bit snobbish of us but we grow our own aromatic herbs on the balcony!).
Then you take another pan, you cover the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil and you put a half sliced onion (a small one) into the pan. After one minute or so you pour the rice and stir. After another minute, you pour a half glass of white wine and let it evaporate.
Then you add – little by little – the vegetable broth. After about 5-7 minutes, you add half of the broad beans and artichokes that you have previously mixed together with a little of vegetable broth. Keep adding, every now and then, salt. When the rice is ready, you turn off the gas and put the goat’s milk cheese (as much as you like it) and stir for a while, then stop stirring.
When serving, remember to place on each dish the remaining broad beans and artichokes, together with a bit of fresh olive oil and freshly grinded pepper.
Eat accompanying the rice with white wine (as you had to open up a bottle to cook the rice, you might as well finish it!)