Posts Tagged ‘peas’

Some English shelling peas arrested my attention at the farmers’ market the other day, and I knew that I had bring some home with me. Sweet, sweet peas! They’re good to eat raw, and they’re good to eat cooked. They’re also fun to shell. You pop open their pods, and with a swift rake of your fingers, the cutest balls in the perfect shade of chartreuse come plummeting down into the catching bowl.




pea family!

I wanted to use the peas in a risotto, so I bought several artichokes to go along with the peas. Artichokes would impart an earthy flavor to contrast the sweetness of the peas, and also add texture to the risotto. Unlike the peas, artichokes are not much fun to prepare. You end up hacking away at most of the artichoke, saving only the heart and few tender parts of the leaves and stem, but all the effort involved is worth it in the end.


We ate this risotto with broiled wild salmon marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. The risotto was delicate, bright, and so pleasing that I heaped seconds onto my plate.


Pea and Artichoke Risotto
Serves 4 as a main dish

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, chopped
1-1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups water, boiled in a pot and kept at a simmer
4 smallish to medium-sized trimmed artichokes, cut into bite-size pieces (on how to trim artichokes, see here)
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 large cup shelled peas (equal to about a pound of unshelled peas)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a separate pot, boil 6 cups of water and bring to a low simmer. In a larger pot or deep pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. When butter has completely melted, throw in the minced garlic. After garlic sizzles for a short time, add the chopped onion and cook until translucent. The onion and garlic should be shimmering in oil at this point, but if not, you can add a little more olive oil. Add the prepared artichokes and cook for about 5 minutes. (Season with a little bit of salt and pepper if you wish.) Stir in the rice, and cook for one minute before adding the white wine. While stirring, continue cooking the rice until the wine has evaporated. Ladle 1-1/2 simmering water into pot, cooking risotto until liquid is absorbed. Add more water, one cup at a time, each time after the liquid has been absorbed. Remember also to add lemon zest. Stir often while doing this, and cook until rice is just tender and the risotto is creamy. This should take around 20 minutes. In pot with simmering water, add enough water to cook the peas in, and bring to a boil. Add peas and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes and drain before adding to risotto. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


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