In an unprecedented wave of diet optimism, Jesse and I joined another vegetable box scheme a few weeks ago. Sure, our first attempt led to a wide variety of unidentifiable fruit and veg going moldy in the fridge. But people change! We can do it this time!
We’re being more fancypants and less environmentally sound this time round. Instead of picking up our greens (all grown within 100 miles of Hackney, or Fairtrade) around the back of a disused fire station, we now get them delivered to our door. And we can see what’s coming ahead of time and request to never, under any circumstances, receive tomatoes. Ick. So far it’s been much more successful.
Last week found a big bag of fava beans in the box. I don’t think I ever realized they looked like that. And certainly had no idea you had to peel them twice! Well, that research done I had to figure out what to cook them with. My cookbooks were not providing much inspiration, but a spot of googling got me closer. After the same few ingredients kept cropping up in recipe after recipe, I settled on a plan: risotto with lardons, favas, peas, mint and lemon.
It was good. Real good.
Any basic risotto recipe will do as a base – as long as it starts with bacon. I used this Nigel Slater recipe, but left out the blue cheese. In its place, when the risotto was cooked I turned off the heat and stirred in about a cup of blanched fava beans, a cup of just cooked frozen baby peas, a bunch of mint, chopped, and the juice of one lemon.
Serve with parmesan.