Cast iron pan with bright green pea risotto

 

Quick and easy aren’t traditionally words you associate with risotto. That is of course, until I discovered Raymond Blanc’s incredible time-saving way to make it.  Risotto used to be an occaisonal treat – but now that I’ve mastered the Michelin starred chef’s method, Green Pea Risotto regularly appears on the menu at our house, especially when garden fresh peas are available.

Simply described, it’s kicked off using the absorption method of cooking rice, followed by 5 minutes of stirring when the rice is nearly cooked. At this point, pea puree and fresh peas are added, creating a bright green creamy risotto. The result is a perfect risotto, with the absolute minimum of effort.

 

Green Pea Risotto

Ingredients:

Pea purée

  • 100g  peas freshly podded or frozen
  • 100ml chicken-style vegetable stock or vegetable stock

Risotto

  • 2 – 3 shallots, finely diced approximately 1/2 cup
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 200g carnaroli or aborio rice
  • 500ml chicken style vegetable stock or vegetable stock
  • 50g peas
  • 100ml white wine
  • 2-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast

To Finish

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  •  lemon juice or white wine
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil or 30g dairy-free butter for a creamier finish

Garnish – optional

Method:

Pea purée

To make a pea puree – bring a small pot of water to the boil add fresh peas and cook for 3-4 minutes, remove from pot and run under cold water to halt the cooking process and maintain the bright green colour.

Save the water, it can be used to make the stock, pea puree and blanch any fresh peas for garnish.

If using frozen peas, defrost or put in a sieve and pour boiling water over them to defrost quickly.

Blend with 100ml of stock until smooth and set aside.

Risotto

Sweat diced shallots in olive oil with a pinch of salt in a heavy based lidded pan over a low heat – soften don’t brown.

Add the rice and stir for about 3 minutes, the rice grains will become shiny. Next pour in the white wine and stir until it’s nearly absorbed, followed by the stock. Taste the stock before seasoning the risotto.

Stir to combine and bring to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for around 20 minutes. Check regularly to make sure the risotto doesn’t boil. Adjust the heat if necessary.

You can tell if the risotto is nearly cooked when all the grains of rice have just a tiny dot of white starch visible.

To finish, stir for 5 minutes to extract the last of the starch and create the creamy texture. Add the pea purée,  1/2 the nutritional yeast, stir to combine.

Taste before slowly adding the remaining nutritional yeast, for a cheesier flavour add more. Taste as you season, add lemon juice or wine and seasonings.

Garnish

Whether serving “family style” or as individual portions, top with your chosen garnishes and a side of plant-based parmesan.

Chefs note:

The purple pea pods used as a garnish are a dutch heirloom pea. Blue Shelling Peas have the same flavour, but beautiful flowers and very decorative pods.

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