Courgette & broad bean risotto with basil pesto
Courgette & broad bean risotto with basil pesto
Course: Main

Make the most of your summer veg with this summery risotto. Perfect as a starter or as a main dish!

Serves: 2 as a main; 4 as a starter
Cooks in: Preparation Time: 25 mins, Cooking Time: 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 medium courgettes (about 350g),
  • cut into 1-2cm dice
  • pinch of chilli flakes or pul biber
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • 150g risotto rice
  • 75ml dry white wine or vermouth
  • 750g warm vegetable or chicken stock
  • 80g broad beans, blanched and peeled
  • courgette flowers, stamen removed and petals torn (optional)
  • 20g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated

For the pesto

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • large handful of basil leaves, plus extra to serve
  • handful of mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative


1 To make the pesto, crush the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt using a pestle and mortar. Add the pine nuts and pound to a coarse paste, then tear in the basil and mint, pounding again until they’ve broken down. Stir in the oil and cheese, then taste for seasoning – add more cheese if you prefer.

2 To make the risotto, heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the courgettes, sprinkle in the chilli flakes and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 3-5 mins until the courgettes are golden and softened. Add the spring onions and lemon zest, and stir for a minute or two. Tip in the rice and stir to coat in the oil until translucent, about 2 mins.

3 Pour in the wine, then cook for a couple of minutes until it’s mostly evaporated. Add a ladleful of the stock and stir for a few minutes until it’s absorbed. Continue adding a ladleful at a time for 20-30 mins, stirring continually, until all of the stock is absorbed.

4 Stir in the blanched broad beans and flowers, if using, and warm through for 2 mins. Remove from the heat and stir through the parmesan. Allow to sit for about 5 mins, then swirl through half of the pesto.
Any remaining pesto will keep chilled for up to two days.

5 Divide the risotto between bowls and scatter with the extra basil leaves, extra cheese and another spoonful of the pesto, if you like.