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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pea & Mint Risotto

I served this risotto with butterflied shoulder of lamb and pan-fried cherry tomatoes. The pea and mint complimented the lamb under a new guise and the red tomatoes contrasted beautifully beside the green rice. My over exaggerated piece of garnish was purely artistic licence.

Risotto comes from the Veneto region of Italy. Arborio (long grain) is the most common risotto rice as the period in which it remains al dente (offering resistance when bitten into and not soft or overcooked) is longer than other varieties. Carnaroli, a rarer and more expensive rice but more difficult to work with, is delicious once mastered. Vialone Nano, used for more soupy risottos –is rounder and each grain can absorb twice its weight in liquid. I use Arborio, as it is readily available and easy to use.


1 large red onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

100g unsalted butter

300g Arborio rice

75ml dry white wine

900ml vegetable or chicken stock

500g packet frozen peas

1 handful fresh mint, leaves only

1 handful fresh thyme. leaves only

10g sea salt

pinch white pepper

handful basil, torn into small pieces

2 tablespoons parmesan, grated


Place the frozen peas in a sieve and pour boiling water through them, drain well then whiz the peas and mint in a food processor for a minute - to a very rough purée. Set aside.

Put the stock in a saucepan and gently heat to simmering point. Melt half the butter in a heavy-based pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic and thyme and stir until the rice becomes translucent. Add the wine and stir until absorbed. Add the stock, ladle-by-ladle, stirring all the time and allowing each ladle to be totally absorbed before adding the next. The process should take about 20 minutes to get to the al dente stage. Stir in the pea and mint mixture, the torn basil, the parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

1 comment:

  1. I can attest to how delicious this is, and perfect with lamb. It will become a staple in this house, with acknowlegement to you!