Broad bean risotto with crispy fried courgettes

So I was really excited about writing this recipe because it uses the very best of Summer vegetables, which is nice.

And the days of those vegetables are numbered so I was going to show them one last hurrah, as it were.

Except then I peeled my broad beans and they were a really strange purple colour.

Like really strange.

Like I thought they might have ben left languishing in the fridge for a bit too long strange.

But then last week I showed you what you can do with basil that is looking limper than a limp thing, so I pressed through.

Except I couldn’t stop thinking about my funny broad beans.

Perhaps they really were off?

Perhaps I had some very strange type of broad bean?

Perhaps they were actually going to KILL ME?

I can now confirm that I consumed this risotto 24 whole hours ago, and I’m not dead yet.

Purple broad beans are my new thing, obvs.



Chop an onion as finely as you can be bothered to.

I always think I chop onions really finely and then when I see proper chefs do it, I realise my shortcomings in this life.

Then I realise it all goes down the same way and I don’t have Gordon Ramsey hitting me about the face with a loaf of bread or whatever it is happens in professional kitchens to ensure everybody who works there can chop an onion finely enough.


Heat some oil in a pan.

Realise that you would last approximately 13 seconds in a professional kitchen because you would be beaten with sticks to get you to snap out of a world where you spend so much time thinking about whether broad beans should be purple and what type of bread Gordon Ramsey beats his juniors up with.


Add the onion to the oil with a pinch of salt.


Do not think of unnaturally purple vegetables.

Do not think of Gordon Ramsey.

Do not think of bread.

Just cook the sodding onion.

Peel and finely chop a garlic clove.

Again, as finely as you can be arsed.

Unless you at genuine risk of being beaten up with a loaf of bread.

In which case I would probably forgo making a risotto and just get Chinese takeaway.

But that is maybe just me.


Add the garlic to the onion, along with the risotto rice, and give it a good stir so it is all nicely coated in oil.


Add a glass of white wine.


Now, to do this properly, you put a pot of vegetable stock on to boil, and keep it on a low simmer as you slowly add it.

I slowly add it.

But start by crumbling in a stock cube…


Then adding my water in 100ml amounts.


Cooking until it is absorbed.

Then re-boiling the kettle and adding another 100ml of water…

And so on.

It works for me because I am lazy and life is short.


While that is bubbling, and between stirs, pod your broad beans.


You can totally use frozen as well.

Might save freaking out that they are going to poison you or something.


After 10 minutes of cooking, add the beans to the pan.


They will need about 6 minutes of cooking.

Keep stirring!

Then take one regular sized courgette or two mini courgettes…


Lop the ends off…


And cut into thick slices lengthways before adding to a pan where you have heated some oil, and frying for a couple of minutes.


Flip over, and fry on the other side...


Before draining the courgette on kitchen roll.


When the risotto is cooked, stir in a couple of tablespoons of grated hard cheese…


Then serve the risotto...

With the fried courgettes on top.


Not least to mask the weird purple colour.


Broad bean risotto with crispy fried courgettes

Serves 2. Cooking time 25 minutes.

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • 120g risotto rice
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 fat garlic clove
  • 400g whole broad beans
  • 2 small courgettes
  • 2 tablespoons grated hard cheese, such as Gran Moravia or parmesan
  1. Finely chop the onion.
  2. Heat half the oil over a medium heat, and add the onion and salt.
  3. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until translucent, before adding the garlic and risotto rice.
  4. Stir well, then add the wine.
  5. Add the stock to the pan in small increments, until almost fully absorbed. I find it easier to crumble in the stock cube, then just re-boil the kettle each time I add water.
  6. Pod the broad beans.
  7. After 10 minutes of cooking the rice, add the beans and cook for a further 6-8 minutes.
  8. Chop the ends off the courgette and slice thickly lengthways.
  9. Heat the remaining oil over a medium heat and fry the courgette slices for 2 minutes either side, until golden brown.
  10. Drain on kitchen paper.
  11. Stir the cheese into the cooked risotto, the serve, topped with the courgette slices.



Sarah Patterson