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spring pea risotto

Pea risotto

The perfect springtime comfort food!

Preparation10 Mins
Cooking Time40 Mins

It would be hard to find a dish that shouts ‘the end of spring/ early summer' louder than this one. Fresh green sweet peas straight from the garden are combined with the creamy richness of a risotto - the perfect springtime comfort food! The variety of pea I chose for this dish was Feltham First, which is a long-standing British favourite. It's a low-growing, early variety that produces lovely sweet - but not too sweet - peas. It is vital that you blanch your pea pods in boiling water at the start because this will remove all the bitterness, leaving a beautiful clean pea flavour.

Ingredients Required

For the pea stock (makes 600ml)

fresh pea pods, shelled (use the shells for the stock and the peas for the purée and vegetables)
iced water

For the pea purée

fresh peas (shelled weight)
unsalted butter
1 pinch
sea salt

For the risotto

white onion, diced
2 tbsp
refined olive oil or 30g unsalted butter
1 clove
garlic, finely grated
carnaroli rice
white wine, plus extra to finish (optional)
freshly grated Parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the vegetables

unsalted butter
baby courgettes, cut into 2mm slices
fresh peas (podded weight)
French breakfast radish, sliced
radish tops
baby leaf spinach

To finish

juice of ¼ lemon
extra virgin olive oil or 50g unsalted butter

To garnish (optional)

pea shoots
Parmesan shavings

Cooking Method

Chef tips

"I developed this technique of cooking a risotto as a means of saving time. I hated watching my chefs spend so long stirring the rice. My method requires less time and effort but every grain of rice is perfectly cooked. Those last 5 minutes are crucial. By stirring, you work the starch and extract it, which is what gives the risotto its hallmark creaminess."


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This recipe is adapted from the book Kew on a Plate

Accompanying a very special BBC TV series Raymond filmed with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, this is the story of the nation's favourite fruit and veg. You’ll find an array of mouth-watering seasonal recipes, detailed tasting notes, and valuable tips for growing your own produce from the talented gardeners of Kew. A perfect read for the green fingered gastronome.

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