A wonderful buttery taste of early summer, useful way to use up the first asparagus and beans and young garden mint. From Nigel Slater's new book Tender. Use the vegetable weights as a guide, use whatever you have.
Cook the broad beans in salted water for 4 mins, till almost tender, drain.
Trim asparagus into short lengths, steam for 3 mins and drain.
wash the rice 3 times in cold water, stiring with your hand, cover with warm water, add a tsp salt and set aside for a good hour.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the bay leaves, cardamon, peppercorns,cinnamon stick, cloves, cumin seeds and thyme. Stir in the butter for a minute or two until the fragrance is released.
Drain the rice and tip it into the warmed spices, cover with 1 cm depth of water and bring to the boil.Season with salt, cover and turn the heat down to a simmer.
Finely slice the spring onions and chop the parsley.
After 5 mins remove the lid and gently fold in the asparagus, beans, spring onions and parsley. Replace lid and continue to cook for 5-6 mins, until the rice is tender but still has some bite to it. All the water should have been absorbed, leave with the lid on but the heat off for 2-3 minutes.
Remove lid, check seasoning, add extra butter if liked and fluff with a fork sprinkle over the mint.