april 15, 2011

English peas, commonly known as garden peas, give a nice burst of color to this simple risotto. With fresh meyer lemons from our mom’s tree, we gave the risotto a bright citrus taste to complement the peas.

English Pea Risotto

2 cups shelled english peas
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
4 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
5 cups water
1 cup dry champagne
parsley, finely chopped
1 meyer lemon, zest and juice retained separately
1 tbs butter
salt + pepper
parmesan, grated

In large sauce pan, combine stock and water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to just below boiling temperature.

Meanwhile, place large saute pan over medium heat. Add butter and when melted, add shallots and garlic. Saute for five minutes, until soft, but not browned. Add rice and stir for 20 seconds. Add champagne to saute pan in two batches and stir, until liquid is absorbed by rice. Ladle 1/2 cup liquid from sauce pan into saute pan every few minutes, adding more as it is absorbed by the rice. Stir rice mixture constantly. Once rice has been cooking for 15 minutes, add lemon zest to saute pan. Continue cooking and stirring rice, and adding liquid, for another five minutes, then add peas. Continue cooking mixture for about five minutes, or until peas are just tender and rice is has just softened past al dente.

Remove pan from heat, and stir in lemon juice and parsley. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Let cool five minutes; rice mixture will thicken slightly.

Serve hot in flat bowls with parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil, plus extra parsley for garnish.

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