Tag Archives: Bean

Broad (Fava) Bean Risotto


I love beans of all variety, and broad beans are no exception. When I was a little girl, I grew up on them as a staple. Lately I’ve been craving them in my diet and when I stumbled across this gem of a recipe by Yummly, I knew I had to give it a try – with my own changes, of course! =)

Broad Bean Risotto

[ Serves: 2 | Time: 24hrs + 15 Minutes | Cost: $3 ]
[ Joes Rating: 5 / 5 | My Rating: 4.5 / 5 ]


100 grams dried broad beans
1 large onion
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups vegetable stock
½ cup white wine
½ cup Pecorino cheese
¼ cup low-fat cream ¹
2 cloves garlic
½ tablespoon sage
drizzle olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Soak the dried beans in water over night with a pinch of bicarbonate soda. After a good soak, slightly twist each bean or squeeze from the sides to remove the hard skins. Discard the skins. After a rinse under cold running water, the beans are ready to be used.
  2. Put the stock in a pot and bring to a light simmer.
  3. In a larger pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Don’t allow to brown.
  4. Stir the dry rice into the mixture and give it a stir to coat it well with the oil, onions and garlic.
  5. De-glaze with the wine and cook over a warm – moderate heat until the wine has been absorbed.
  6. Add ½ – 1 cup of hot stock to the mixture and stir frequently while the rice absorbs the fluid.
  7. Continue slowly adding stock until the rice is cooked. This will take about 25 – 35 minutes. Stir frequently to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick.
  8. When the rice is tender, add the cream, cheese, sage and beans to the pot and stir it gently to combine it well.
  9. Season to taste and serve immediately with some grated cheese to garnish.


A well made risotto should still show the individual rice grains and not be a gluggy mess. The black masses in the photo are peppercorns form the cheese.


  • Note 1: I recently discovered this wonderful Kraft’s product range Philadelphia Cream Cheese called Cream for Cooking. This is the first time I have used it and found it produced a really good flavour without all the carbohydrates. It boasts 60% less fat than regular cream, so look out for it.
  • I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with this risotto. It was creamy, filling, flavourful and the taste just lingered all night on my palate.
  • Diabetic Note: 100 grams of cooked arborio rice is about 35g carbohydrates. There are roughly 10 grams of carbs between the cream and beans. This meal will sneak in to the tightest carbohydrate budget as long as you observe strict serving sizes.
  • Ethical Note: Dried legumes allows you to use seasonal crops all year round. The ability to dry legumes for later use reduces wastage. Learn to love legumes and once you have mastered No Meat Monday, try Legumes Thursday!



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Bil-Ful – Stewed Broad Beans

Broad beans, shelled and steamed

Broad beans, shelled and steamed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And the trip down memory lane continues. When I was a young girl, my Nanu (meaning “grandfather” in Maltese) was always busy in the vegetable garden. No small feat, given that we lived at Brighton-Le-Sands in Sydney and the sand soil wasn’t very good for such activities. Nevertheless, he managed to grow all manner of things for the dinner table, including broad beans.

My Nana would shell the beans like those in the photo (left) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) and make a kind of tomato sauce / stew / thing which we would eat with pasta, bread and vegetables. When I found this recipe on on Silvias Corner, I knew I was on the right path.

Kosksu is a small pasta that my Nana use to get and put in soups and stews. I can’t get it here, so I just used Fettuccine today. I also altered the recipe a bit from the one on Silvias site, going from memory. Hopefully it wont offend any traditionalists who may be reading!

[  SERVES: 3  |  TIME: 2 days + 60 MIN  |  COST: <$5  ]
[  Joes’ Rating: 3.5/5  |  My Rating:  3/5 |  Brittanys’ Rating:  3/5]


1 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
250 ml vegetable stock
150 grams dried broad beans
1 onion, sliced thinly
handful flat leaf parsley, shredded
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 basil leaves, shredded
1 – 2 tablespoons minced garlic
drizzle of olive oil
pinch bicarbonate of soda
salt and pepper to taste


  1. The dried beans should be washed under running water before being placed in a container with ample water and a pinch of bicarb soda. Check the water after several hours, and top up if needed. Change the water every 24 hours. See photo below.
  2. After two days, the beans will have doubled (or tripled!) in size. Rinse the beans under running water. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the beans. Cook for 30 – 45 minutes, or until soft. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a frying pan, add the garlic and onion to a little olive oil. Once the onions start to caramelise, add the chopped tomatoes and cook over a medium heat until reduced by one third – approximately 15 – 20 minutes.
  4. Add the herbs and beans and stir well. Increase the heat slightly, add a little stock to thin slightly as needed. Stew for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
  5. Season and thicken if needed with the tomato paste before serving.


  • The beans went in with the skin on them, resulting in a slight rubbery texture. I remember them being slightly sponge like a kid, but I guess they were fresh, and these are dried. Removing the skins is not an option, as the insides tend to fall apart rapidly. It is an unusual texture, and could take some getting use to.
  • Brittany didn’t enjoy the beans so much and felt there were too many. Joe and I enjoyed the dish, but it was a lot of work. It is a nice alternative for occasions however, and will be made again at some point in the not so distant future.
  • If there is anyone reading who does know authentic Maltese cuisine and can offer any suggestions, please drop me a line! rhianna at nor dot com dot au – ta!
  • Diabetic Note: I am having all sorts of trouble trying to find a diabetic friendly pasta. As you can imagine, my blood glucose levels didn’t like all the carbohydrates in the pasta, so an alternative to this may be to pour it over steamed veggies or with some crusty bread instead of pasta.

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