Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Monsieur, wiz zis second post in one day you are really spoiling us!

I just had to share my super delicious dinner with everyone - mostly courtesy of my dad and the excessive crop of runner beans his garden has produced this year. Seriously, he's drowning in them, especially with mum away in Costa Rica and therefore not doing her share of bean eating.  He's had to put about a hundred weight of them into the freezer.  However, I digress.

According to my calorie calculator each serving is about 535kcal, so it doesn't break the bank as evening meals go.

Runner bean & parma ham risotto (courtesy of tastes of summer)

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes


250g runner beans, topped and tailed, side strings removed if necessary and sliced thinly on the diagonal 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
25g butter 
1 medium onion, finely chopped 
350g arborio rice (or other risotto rice) 
1 – 1.2 litres hot chicken or vegetable stock 
6 slices Parma ham, cut into ribbons 
75g Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra to serve 
Small handful of basil leaves, shredded 
Salt and pepper


1. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the prepared runner beans and cook the beans for about 4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and set aside while you cook the rice.

2. Heat the olive oil and the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and gently fry for a few minutes until softened but not coloured.

3. Add the rice to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes. Have the hot stock in a separate pan and keep it at a gentle simmer. Add a couple of ladles of the hot stock to the rice and cook over a gentle heat, stirring frequently, until the stock has been absorbed into the rice. Continue to add the stock to the rice, one ladle at a time, stirring after each addition until it has been absorbed. After 18-20 minutes the risotto should be cooked – it should be creamy and the rice grains tender but retaining a little ‘bite’. You may not need to use all the stock.

4. Add the cooked runner beans, Parma ham, Parmesan and basil to the cooked risotto. Add a little more stock, if necessary, and season to taste.

5. Serve the risotto with shavings of Parmesan and black pepper.


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