After about seven years of writing this blog, I’m hope you’ll excuse me if I sometimes repeat myself. Really, I try not to. But since I’m one person, doing all the thinking and the writing (and most of the eating and all of the cooking) I’m bound to repeat myself every so often.
So when I decide to share a recipe with you the very first thing I do is search on my own blog to make sure that I’ve never published the same thing in the past. These days, nine times out of ten, I have (it’s bound to happen with almost 1000 posts up there).
But sometimes the opposite occurs. I’ll avoid writing about something because I am SURE I have written about it not once, but many times in the past. This happened last week.
How in the world have I never shared my recipe for fresh pea risotto with you before??!!
I’ve shared other risotto recipes in the past, here and here but never my favorite. When peas are in season this is my go to recipe. Getting the sweetest peas and shelling them is the most difficult part about it.
One of the things that makes in so easy (and especially delicious) is that I do not precook the peas. A lot of risotto recipes using peas call for at least blanching them before hand. Not me. I just throw them in raw, about 6 minutes before the risotto is done. This means that all the different sized peas cook as the risotto finishes. The small ones obviously cook faster, but the big ones retain a bit of crunch. It’s this texture that I love. And what makes the dish super easy.
The main ingredients that stay the same are rice (make sure you get either arborio, canaroli or another short grain Italian risotto rice) and fresh peas. After that it’s up to you what kind of cheese and herbs you use. This time around I had two types of goat cheese in the fridge, so that is what I used. One was a marzolino, a type of aged goat cheese from just outside of Rome that is perfect for grating. The other was a soft goat cheese that Sophie brought back to me from the goat farm last week. I like to use a mixture of hard and soft, but love playing around with flavors. If you can’t get the goat cheese then parmigiano works perfectly and for the soft cheese either mascarpone or even brie is perfect.
I ran up to the terrace and grabbed a handful of mint. But if you can’t find mint, tarragon is lovely, and of course parsley will do too.
The bright green and white rice is pretty enough, but if you have edible flowers, this is the time to use them. I had borage blossoms which I had bought at the farmer’s market and although they didn’t have a lot of taste, they looked gorgeous. A few geranium petals would work too. Let me know how you end up making it.
- 3 cups fresh peas
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1 small onion
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tblsp butter
- 1 tblsp olive oil
- 1 cup white wine
- ½ cup grated marzolino (or another hard cheese)
- ½ cup cubed soft goat cheese (or another soft cheese)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- 1⅕ liters of light broth
- Borage blossoms
- Pour olive oil into a pot with the butter. As soon as the butter melts. Add the chopped onions and salt, and cook over low heat until the onion is wilted (about 6 minutes)
- Pour the broth into another pot and bring to a low simmer.
- Add the rice to the onions. Stir it well, over medium heat, until the rice turns a bit glossy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the white wine, stirring and let that evaporate.
- Now start adding ladles of broth to the rice, stirring as you go. At the beginning you can add a couple of spoonfuls at a time, stirring. But as the rice cooks, add less each time, waiting until the previous ladle has been absorbed.
- After about 13 or 14 minutes, add the peas. Stir and add another ladle or two of broth, stirring. Let cook another 6 minutes or so, stirring and adding more broth as needed.
- Taste the rice to make sure it is just about done (it should be)
- Turn off heat and add the soft cheese, stirring so that it melts. Then add the grated cheese, stirring. Add the mint, stir and taste for seasoning. I add freshly ground black pepper at this point, but find that I don’t need to add any salt since both the cheese and the broth are salty.
- Server and garnish with borage petals.