What is your go to recipe? I love this question. Or rather, I love hearing other people’s answer to this question. I myself find it nearly impossible to answer. I sometimes experience anxiety watching shows like Master Chef or Top Chef when contestants are left to their own devices and are asked to cook something, anything, to wow the judges. What would I cook if I could cook anything and wanted to wow someone?! Despite my love of food and being in the kitchen, coming up with the answer to that question for me is extraordinarily perplexing.
But I absolutely love hearing what other people say in response to this. Over drinks on the Île St. Louis with two of Matt’s dear friends, Anna and Mark, Mark responded with a description of a spring pea risotto that had me salivating. I knew that I had to try to make this as soon as I got home, when the spring peas are at their finest. I loved how the bright green orbs floated in a sea of risotto cooked al dente, permeated with flavors of leeks, white wine, sherry and Parmesan. I sprinkled crumbles of fresh goat cheese on top to add some contrast. A lovely springtime meal.
Recipe continued after the jump>>>
Note: You could easily make this recipe vegetarian-friendly by substituting vegetable stock for the chicken stock.
- 8 c. chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 leek, rinsed thoroughly, cut in half and sliced thinly
- 2 c. Arborio rice
- 1 c. dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon Sherry
- 1 pound English peas, shelled
- 1/2 c. Parmesan, grated
- 2-3 tablespoons goat cheese
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Bring chicken stock to boil in a high heat; reduce heat to low and let simmer. Melt butter in large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add shallots and leek and saute until shallots are translucent and tender, about 10 minutes. Add Arborio rice and increase heat to medium-high, stirring and allowing rice to toast slightly. Add wine and Sherry and stir. Cook, stirring occassionally, until all liquid is absorbed. Add ladle of chicken stock and cook, stirring occassionally but ensuring the rice doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan, until all liquid is absorbed. Repeat until risotto has achieved desired consistency – I used almost all of the stock.
Meanwhile, bring water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Add peas and boil for 2-3 minutes, or until peas are tender. Remove with a slotted spoon into an ice bath. Let cool completely.
Once risotto has achieved desired consistency, add Parmesan cheese and drained peas and stir to combine. Spoon risotto onto serving platter and sprinkle with goat cheese, salt and pepper.