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This vibrant pea risotto is a creamy bowl of spring goodness!
I am so ready for spring. I’m desperate to see the pretty pink cherry blossoms and magnolia blooms. I caught my first glimpse of bright yellow forsythia last week and know that the rest of the vibrant blooms can’t be far behind.
I’m thinking spring in the kitchen too and I’m thinking green. Asparagus is back in season along with spring onions, leeks and peas. Now peas are one of those vegetables that don’t always get their due. They get tossed into soups and stews, sprinkled over a salad, all while getting a best supporting actor nod but rarely the leading man role. Well not today.
Today we’re celebrating fresh spring peas in a creamy risotto. The peas are not an afterthought or just added in at the end of the preparation. I really wanted to squeeze all of the flavor out of these little guys so I made a bright pea puree that is stirred in right after that last scoop of broth is absorbed. Creamy mascarpone and nutty parmesan are folded in at the end, and then a couple handfuls of peas get mixed in just long enough to heat through but not overcook so they maintain that vibrant green. Finally a good sprinkle of fresh mint and parsley to compliment the flavor and color.
Doesn’t this dish make you feel like spring has sprung? Start you meal with a light salad, then a beautiful bowl of this bright pea risotto (an added bonus if you can find little pea shoots to sprinkle on top) and a glass of crisp white wine. Cheers to April showers, May flowers and loads of green vegetables!
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup parmesan, grated
- 1/2 cup mascarpone
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp fresh mint, minced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- *shaved parmesan and fresh mint for garnish
Combine all of the ingredients for the pea puree in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
Pour the stock into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
In a large wide skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and cook until soft and golden, 3-4 mins.
Pour some salt in a small dish near the stove so you can season the risotto throughout the cooking process.
Add the rice to pan and stir well to coat. Toast the rice for about one min and then add the white wine. Cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed.
Add about ¼ cup of warm stock at a time and stir until fully absorbed. Repeat the process, seasoning throughout with salt, until almost all of the liquid is added and absorbed (will take about 20 mins).
Taste the risotto. You want the rice to be tender, but with a slight bite. Add a little more stock if needed. Stir in the pea puree.
Next, stir in the mascarpone, parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice and mint until incorporated.
Fold in the peas and serve in shallow bowls topped with parmesan and mint if desired.