There was a gap in the rainfall on the day I made this dish. The sun came out, I threw open the back doors and decided to make a risotto fit for Spring.
I haven’t had the energy or inclination to make a proper risotto for ages, but it’s always worth the effort. Plus I wanted to give my shiny new All-Clad pan a proper road test.
The very first time I made a risotto I used Jamie Oliver’s basic recipe - it was like a revelation to me that I could make something that tasted that good. I have Jamie to thank for boosting my confidence in the kitchen back in the late 1990s
The version I made this week has a little less butter and cheese, and not as much booze, but is still very filling and luxurious. I thought it’d be ideal for setting Matthew up for a night shift.
He adored it and said he’d like it as his final meal. Sam scoffed the lot and Arlo sort of ate it but was more interested in pretending to be a Samurai. That’s a pretty successful result in this house.
The All-Clad pan was an absolute dream to work with, the heat was distributed really evenly across the surface, resulting in an evenly cooked and creamy risotto. It looks pimping gorgeous on my hob too…
Pea and mint risotto
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
400g arborio rice
glass of white wine*
4 handfuls frozen peas
handful mint leaves, finely chopped
1 lemon, juice only
85g parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative)
*I didn’t have any but found the remnants of some marsarla wine in the cupboard which I swilled out with a bit of water
1. Make up the vegetable stock with boiling water and then keep it over a low heat.
2. In a large sturdy pan, heat the olive oil and then gently fry the onion, garlic and celery for 5 minutes until soft.
3. Add the rice, give a good stir and increase the heat. After a couple of minutes add the wine and stir until it’s evaporated.
4. Start adding the stock a ladelful at a time, stirring regularly to stop it sticking on the bottom and to massage the rice making it nice and creamy. Once one ladle of liquid has been absorbed, add another and repeat until all the stock has been used and your rice is almost cooked.
5. Meanwhile melt the knob of butter in a small pan and cook half of the peas until tender. Remove from heat and gently mash with a fork.
6. Stir the buttery peas and remaining frozen peas into the rice and then remove from the heat. Stir in the chopped mint, lemon juice, butter and parmesan cheese, put the lid on the pan and leave to steep for 5 minutes while you rustle up a salad and get the dishes and cutlery out.
7. Take the lid off, stir the creamy risotto and then spoon into bowls and serve with salad.
Definitely family friendly – probably a bit more high maintenance than i’m normally prepared to tolerate, but the results speak for themselves.
I’m going to be trawling Clare’s site for some fresh family-friendly Veggie inspiration me thinks….