This lemon risotto with English peas is a creamy, comforting dish that will complement any meat, seafood or roasted vegetable dish.
Traditionally served as an appetizer or a main course, risotto is a versatile dish that you an add so many different flavors and ingredients to. It’s amazing how creamy the rice becomes without the use of cream (Italians do not use cream in their risotto). The creaminess comes from the starch released from the rice. A must addition to risotto is freshly grated Parmesan cheese, this also adds to the creaminess and adds amazing flavor.
Don’t be discouraged thinking that you have to stand over the pan stirring for an hour. This recipe takes only 20 minutes of actually rice cooking time. Stock is added one cup at a time, but you don’t have to constantly stir. You do need to stir after each cup of stock is added, this helps develop the creamy texture.
Let’s talk about those peas. If you can’t get ‘fresh from the pod’ peas, and not everyone can, Trader Joe’s carries fresh packaged English peas which are the next best thing. If you can’t find these, then by all means use defrosted frozen peas. I love the pop of sweetness that you get from the fresh peas and the lemon complements them perfectly. It’s time for a little Springtime in the kitchen and on our plates.
- 3 cups chicken stock * see note
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot finely chopped
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup English peas boiled for 90 seconds
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
- Add the chicken stock to a saucepan over low heat to keep warm.
- To a sauté pan add the butter over medium heat.
- Once the butter is melted and bubbling, stir in the shallot and cook for 2 minutes until it starts to soften but not brown.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
- Add the wine and let it bubble and cook until the pan is almost dry.
- Add 1 cup of stock and stir the rice until it is almost absorbed.
- Continue adding stock, 1 cup at a time until all the stock is gone.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, peas, lemon zest, juice.
- Taste for salt & pepper and add accordingly.
- Serve warm topped with chopped basil.