This dish is something of a hybrid, with a texture that is nuttier, chewier and rather more interesting than a risotto. Made with short-grain brown rice, it is stirred for a good 45 minutes with a wooden spoon and served in a pool of savoury, herb-flecked sauce. Delicious, cheap and nourishing.
Enough for 2
broad beans 400g (120g podded weight)
hot vegetable stock 1 litre
medium shallots 2 (or a small onion)
brown short grain rice 250g
white vermouth or white wine medium glass
mint 3 heaped tbsp, chopped
courgette flowers 2–4 (optional)
parmesan a large handful, plus extra to serve
Wipe the courgettes, then shred them using a coarse-toothed grater. Put them in a colander, generously grind salt over them and leave for at least 20 minutes.
Pod the beans, cook them for 7 to 10 minutes in very lightly salted boiling water, then drain. If the beans are large and you have the inclination, pop them out of their skins. Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep warm over a low heat.
Peel the shallots or onion and chop finely. Cook in 40g of the butter till soft, stirring regularly so they don't brown. Add the rice, coating the grains in the butter, then pour in the vermouth or wine. Let it almost evaporate, then add the hot stock a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly. The rice will take a good 40 minutes to cook.
As the rice approaches tenderness, squeeze the grated courgette dry and stir it in. Then, as the rice is almost cooked, add the beans, chopped mint and, if you are using them, the courgette flowers. Check the seasoning then stir in the remaining butter and the grated parmesan.
Serve in warm shallow bowls, with a little more cheese if you wish.
• Nigel's new book, Kitchen Diaries II, is published by Fourth Estate at £30. To order a copy for £19.99 (including free UK mainland p&p), go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop or call 0330 333 6846.