When the days are short, and cold temperatures demand a down-filled coat to survive the jaunt between heated rooms and the car, only warm food satisfies. Preferably warm food that requires a lingering by the stove, while savouring the aroma of vegetables and herbs as you chop and stir. Warm food that fills and nourishes. Warm food that’s a delight to cook as you sneak a taste during the prep. Warm food that is so delicious, guests ask for more.
This risotto relies on the taste combo of coconut milk and vegetable broth for its appeal. The taste will vary slightly depending on which vegetable broth you use: home made, a store bought broth or made with a powder stock like Massel. The edamame provides life-giving nourishment. A cup (155 grams) of cooked edamame provides around 18.5 grams of protein. Edamame is a young soybean that has been harvested before the beans have had a chance to harden. You can buy them shelled or in the pod, fresh or frozen. In Australia, they are available in Woolworth in the frozen goods. Since edamame beans aren’t mature, it’s easy to cook within a short period of time, unlike mature beans. It is better to boil with the pods to ensure that all the nutrients remain intact, because this is the main reason for consuming edamame. Since the pods are tender, their removal is not necessary. After boiling, the beans can be removed by gently squeezing the pods. This is a better method than tearing the pods apart.
· Edamame is naturally gluten-free and low calorie, contains cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium. It is an important source of protein for those who follow a plant-based diet.
· Edamame helps in managing weight, aids in improving the digestive system, reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases, aids in strengthening the immune system and is beneficial in improving lung function.
EDAMAME & COCONUT RISOTTO
Serves 4 main dishes
155-310 grams (1-1½ cups) edamame beans, cooked & shelled
1 onion, finely chopped
350 grams (1½ cups) arborio rice, risotto rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
200 ml coconut milk
1.250 ml (5 cups) vegetable broth
1 shallot onion, charred
200 grams baby corn
ground black pepper
Bring half a saucepan of water to the boil, add the edamame beans in the pod and boil for 3-4 minutes. Take off the stove, drain the water and set aside to cool for a few minutes. When the pods are slightly cooler, remove the edamame beans by gently squeezing the pods, place in a bowl and set aside.
In a large saucepan, sauté finely chopped onion in olive oil until translucent, add arborio rice and minced garlic, and heat for several minutes until the arborio rice is translucent. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable broth and stir the coconut milk into it. Add 1 cup of coconut-vegetable broth at a time, constantly stirring until almost absorbed. The amount of broth is approximate as you need to test the arborio rice until the texture is done to your satisfaction. After two-thirds of the cooking time, add the edamame beans to the risotto. When the risotto is done, serve with charred shallot onions, baby corn spears and fresh thyme. Finish with a sprinkle of Himalayan salt and ground black pepper.