You know, for someone who has never been a massive fan of the garden pea, I’m writing an awful lot of recipes that includes them. One doesn’t usually ever come to terms with a pulse that was once forced upon you by a primary school dinner lady. Nightmares were had; you can be assured of that. Indeed, they still aren’t particularly loved in this, very specific, corner of Wales – they taste a little too green for my liking – but it seems to me that their positive traits far outweigh their negative. For instance, peas may be in possession of a rather suspicious green taste, but they are also ridiculously cheap and healthy. In my eyes, this paragraph is testament to just how good my pea and mint soup was – its taste was incredible, yet its main constituent was the humble garden pea.
One gets the impression that peas get along rather well with any other green ingredient, assuming that it’s edible in the first place. We have explored the pea and mint combination rather thoroughly already, so pea and leek seemed like a good pairing. Indeed, my assumption was correct and they worked together particularly well, with the pea, as usual, providing the freshness at the end of the mouthful. Other than that, there isn’t much else to say regarding this risotto – it’s extremely simple, yet incredibly effective.
Why not try making any leftover risotto into arancini? These delicious balls of risotto are covered in breadcrumbs and either baked or fried. One may also envelope a chunk of cheese in their centres for that extra burst of flavour.
Leek and Pea Risotto
• 200g arborio rice
• 1 leek, finely chopped
• 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
• A little olive oil
• A hearty glug of white wine
• 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
• A large handful of garden peas, frozen are fine
• A small knob of butter
• A large handful of parmesan cheese, grated
1. Begin by frying the leek and garlic together in a little olive oil. Once the leek is translucent add the rice and stir until it has been coated with oil. At this point add the wine and cook until it has been absorbed. Repeat this process with the vegetable stock.
2. Once the rice has become soft, but retains a little bite, add the peas and cook for a few minutes longer. Stir in the butter and parmesan and remove from the heat. Pop a lid on and allow it to stand for 2-3 minutes – this is the most critical part of the risotto making process. Serve immediately.
Cost: I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my supermarket has started doing their own range of arborio rice – this makes it a lot cheaper. As such, this dish should set one back around £1.80. However, why not try doubling up on this recipe in order to make arancini for a simple meal the next day?
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