Spring Pea Risotto Recipe
I remember sitting in a faded, striped deck-chair when I was younger with a bowl on my lap, popping fresh peas out of their pods: bright green in colour, sweet to taste and fresh.
You would be forgiven for thinking risotto is a time consuming, labour-intensive dish. Images of being stood over a stove stirring constantly until your arm begins to ache may spring to mind. Actually, risotto is quite a simple, pain-free process, and there is no need to constantly be hovering over the pan. This means that it’s a perfect one pot dish after a long day at university. Cost-wise it is very student friendly: most of the ingredients are store cupboard ingredients and you can use up any spare food that you might have lying around in the cupboards if you don’t have all the ingredients.
The strong colour of this risotto is made from a pea puree. If you’re cooking for your friends they’ll be impressed with the beauty and the flavour of this dish.
The Recipe – Serves 4
1 leek, finely chopped
300g cooked peas
1.7 litres vegetable stock
350g Arborio rice
200ml white wine
Handful of cress
Extra-virgin olive oil to finish
– In a large heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and add the chopped leek. Cook on medium heat until the leek has softened and is darker in colour.
– Put 100g of peas and a ladleful of stock into a food processer and whizz until a puree is formed.
– Stir the rice into the leek, pour in the wine and stir until absorbed.
– Add a ladleful of stock at a time, stirring and leaving it to simmer until the rice is soft. As long as it’s on a medium heat and you keep an eye on it there is no need to keep constantly stirring. This should take around 20 minutes.
– Once the rice is soft, stir in the pea puree, the remaining peas and the cress.
– To finish off add a good handful of grated parmesan for a creamy flavour and a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.