Springtime, means fresh spring green peas. And there is no better way to showcase peas than in a delicately flavored risotto. This recipe makes a creamy, delicious dish that is ideal for a side dish or first course. It contains less butter and cheese than other recipes without sacrificing the wonderful texture and taste of risotto.
Serving suggestions: with a simply prepared fish and a green leafy salad.
Recipe inspiration: Pea and Bacon Risotto, Gourmet | January 2009 by Ian Knauer. I’ve followed his risotto cooking technique but eliminated the bacon - replacing it with a shallot for a more subtle and classic flavor to showcase the peas, lemon and nutty cheese flavors. —LynnATL
4 - 6
reduced sodium chicken broth
large shallot, finely chopped
large garlic cloves, finely minced
Arborio rice, rinsed
green peas, fresh if available, frozen will work as well
Bring broth and water to a simmer in a small saucepan.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, add shallots and sauté until translucent, 3 – 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until soften and a pale golden. Add rice, stirring to coat.
Add ¼ cup (approximately 1 large ladle-full of broth to the rice mixture and allow to simmer while stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, about 20 minutes. (Reserve leftover broth mixture.)
Add peas and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
Stir in cheese, remaining butter, zest, and juice. Thin risotto with some of reserved broth mixture if desired and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm. Top with additional cheese if desired.