As early as mid-March I start getting spring fever. I get anxious for warmer days and the smell of spring in the air. I long for the lighter, fresher flavors of the season. Using fresh mint and fava beans are a surefire way to put some classic spring flavors on the table.
Fava beans is a bit of trouble to work with, but they are delicious and their season is short. Scoop them up while you can.
The fava beans may be prepared up to 1 day ahead and stored in the refrigerator, covered.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 4 ServingsServings
- 2 racks of lamb, (each about 1 1/2 pounds); ask your butcher to French them for an elegant presentation
- About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 pound fresh fava beans in the shell
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh mint leaves, for garnish For the Risotto
- 4 to 5 cups of chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 3/4 cups Arborio rice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Marinate the lamb in the olive oil and lemon juice in a covered shallow container or resealable plastic bag for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Shell the fava beans. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil, and prepare a bowl of ice water with a strainer that fits inside the bowl. Cook the fava beans until tender, about 5 minutes, and drain them into the strainer.
- Immediately shock the favas by submerging the strainer in the ice water. When favas have cooled completely, remove the strainer from the ice water and peel the transparent skin off the beans.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Brown the lamb on all sides. Transfer the lamb to a baking sheet and roast until a thermometer registers 120ºF for medium rare, about 15 minutes.
Make the Risotto while the lamb is browning, roasting, and resting.
- Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat a large sauté pan or medium saucepan over medium heat and add the oliveoil. Sweat the shallot, without browning it, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and salt and pepper to taste, and stir until each grain of rice is lightly coated and slightly transparent at the edges but still opaque in the center. Add the wine and continue to cook until the wine is absorbed.
- Slowly add the chicken stock to the pan, about one cup at a time, stirring and waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is al dente, about 25 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and fold in the chopped mint and parsley.
- Cut the lamb into portions. Place a generous serving of risotto on each plateand sprinkle with fava beans. Place the lamb on the risotto and garnish with additional mint, if desired.
Source: Chef Laura Frankel - Jewish Cooking For All Seasons (Wiley)