Friday, May 27, 2011

Lemon Risotto with Peas

There is absolutely no doubt that we love our risotto around here.  It's creamy goodness has got us hooked.  And now that spring is in full swing, it's time to load on the lighter flavors - aka lemon and peas.  Since my husband won't go for the peas all by themselves, I thought I'd add them to risotto - that way there was no getting out of it.  It worked.

As you know, I'm in love with peas right now.  Really, I'm in love with anything that resembles spring right now.  I can't seem to eat enough strawberries, or asparagus, or butter lettuce, or broccoli, or... peas.  Or add enough lemon to everything I eat.  So it was a natural move to add both to this risotto dish. 

Now, there are a few tips to cooking risotto that I think make a huge difference in flavor.  I always, always, always use homemade chicken stock when making risotto.  There is just no comparison to the store bought variety.  It adds such richness and depth to the risotto.   Also, use a white wine that you would drink.  I love Trader Joe's, but three buck chuck doesn't cut it.  Enough said.  When finishing the dish, I always add 2 Tbsp of butter and a handful of parmessan or pecorino romano cheese.  Not the best nutritionally, but when you've just spent 25 consecutive minutes of your life standing over the stove stirring and adding and stirring and adding.....that butter and cheese is just what the doc ordered.

We loved this dish and hope you do, too!  Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. 

Happy Eating!

Lemon Risotto with Peas
Recipe by A Toast to Taste
Photos by A Toast to Taste

Ingredients Needed:
1.5 cups arborio rice
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter, divided
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup white wine (use one that you would drink)
juice of half lemon
4.5-5 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1 cup peas, cooked
zest from half lemon
salt and pepper to taste
handful of parmessan cheese

In a medium saucepan, heat chicken stock over low heat.

In a large skillet, heat oil and 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add arborio rice and stir to coat with onion mixture.  Cook until slightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Pour in wine and lemon juice, stirring frequently, and cook until absorbed.  At this point, season with salt and pepper.  Add 1/2 cup of broth, stirring constantly, until absorbed.  Continue to add a 1/2 cup of broth at a time, stirring constantly, and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next.  Rice should be creamy and tender when done (about 20-25 minutes).

Remove from heat, add peas, lemon zest, 2 Tbsp butter, and parmessan.  Stir to combine well.  Serve and enjoy!

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