I will not lie. I spent about an hour the night before I made this dish removing the fava beans from their pods and their shells. I also trimmed and cut the artichokes so that I could remove the delicate, tender hearts. Thank goodness I put a movie on to entertain me. But seriously, it was worth it. And you don't have to do the prep work the night before unless you plan on having an early dinner like I did.
I got my favas from Tutti Frutti Farms because their pods are always larger and bear sizable beans. My artichokes more often than not come from Tom Shepherd Farms - I love that they are smaller and have beautiful hues of purple and red on the leaves and within the flesh.
My favorite thing about risotto is that it is a rustic Italian dish that although is much like pasta, is completely gluten free - and dairy free if you skip the cheese like I did. And you don't need it! If you add a few leeks at the beginning for a parmesan flavor, you won't even know the difference.
lemon artichoke risotto w/ fava beans
1.5 cups risotto
4-5 medium artichokes
3 lbs fava beans in pods
2 medium leeks
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups homemade chicken stock or water
butter, ghee or other heat stable fat
Prepare the fava beans and artichokes. Can be done 1 day ahead - store fava beans in seal tight container and place quartered artichokes in lemon water in a seal tight container in the fridge. Remove fava beans from their pods and peel off their shells. Cut top third off each artichoke, cut lengthwise into quarters, and carve out tender hearts from each quarter.
Wash leeks and trim to remove green part of stem. Using only the white end, cut lengthwise into quarters and finely chop. Juice 2 lemons. Set both aside.
Heat stock or water to a low simmer on your back burner. Once it is simmering, reduce to low and keep hot.
In a deep, heavy pot, saute the leeks in fat on medium heat until translucent. Add artichokes and saute for 2-3 minutes more. Add the risotto and continue to saute until risotto is opaque.
Add half the wine and stir, allowing the liquid to be absorbed by the risotto. Add the rest and continue. Once the wine is fully absorbed, do the same with the lemon juice.
Begin adding the hot stock, one ladle at a time, stirring continuously and waiting to add the next ladle until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
After you have added about 1 cup of stock, add the fava beans. Continue to add the stock until the risotto is al dente. Be careful not to overcook and know that you may not use all of the stock. Let risotto rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt.