This is a vegetarian delight………………. I will tell you now, my pet hate is a person that says they are Vegetarian but eats chicken and fish are they vegetables?
My Nanna lived next door to us when I was young. Our yards ran alongside each other with no fences between. There were chickens at the end of her yard and these effected my sisters in different ways. My youngest sister spent most of her spare time trying to train her favourite chickens to do tricks like…. jumping through hoops, eating out of her hand etc..she was convinced they loved her…
At times there were the odd extra rooster that needed to be dispatched . This was Dads job. Unfortunately on one occasion my older sister was witness to the massacre. After this she became vegetarian , refusing to eat chicken or lamb or sausages , our staple diet. No matter how she was coaxed (this could include staying at the table for lengthy periods when everyone else had left- not her choice), she refused to let a morsel pass her lips, eyeing Dad like he was a poacher breaching the fence at a game reserve.
Truth is we all have a bit of vegetarian in us. I also had a brief fling with Vegetarianism however, I found it hard to stick to my principles in a commercial kitchen . Are Vegetarians a predictable breed ? Some swing between the natural carnivore and a love of something fresh and crunchy………like Ruby..our swinging veggie dog….
This lovely green risotto could be overlooked as a simple vegetarian option, but believe me the fresh sweet peas just love parmesan and butter…… Risotto takes about 20 minutes to make. Do not be tempted to turn the heat to high or add too many cups of rice, by doubling the amount ( unless you have an army for dinner). This will make enough for about 4 people with a salad . By the way you can add crispy pancetta if you feel this isn’t indulgent enough…………..or you don’t feel like being vegetarian today.
Pea Risotto with Parmesan crisps
To make Pea Risotto
- 1.5 litres chicken stock (or about 6 cups or so)
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated Grana Padano-parmesan is best)
- 1 cup peas (frozen baby peas are perfect)
- 2 cups extra chicken stock
- 2 cups carnaroli risotto rice (don’t be tempted to use supermarket aborio risotto rice)
- 50g butter
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small diced onion (diced)
- 1/2 cup white wine (any type)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese (fine grated grana padano)
- 1 Tablepoon flour
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and grated parmesan
To make Parmesan Crisps
- Mix ingredients together. Spread on a lined tray in a circle using egg rings (or any other shape you like) approx. ½ cm thick. Bake in a pre-heated non fan forced oven at 180oC for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and use as required.
To make the Risotto
- Place the peas and 2 cups of stock into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer on very low, approximately 2 minutes or until the peas are defrosted (over boiling will evaporate a lot of liquid and discolour the peas). Use a stick blender to puree the mixture and set aside ( or use a blender/food processor) Set aside .
- The first thing to do when making risotto is to get the stock on and heating. Remember that all rice is different and you may need a little more stock at the end so a little extra is a good idea.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. The best saucepan to use is a wide bottomed one. Saute the onions on a low heat until soft then add the rice. Toast it lightly, warming through before starting to add stock 1 cup at a time.
- Stir the risotto until the liquid is incorporated and add more. When the last of the stock is added, the rice should be cooked when tested, ( do this frequently), not soft and squishy but cooked. If the rice is cooked before the stock is finished set the remainder of stock aside).
- Now add the pea puree, the butter and 1 cup of Parmesan and stir well adding salt and pepper to taste. It should be a nice soupy feeling mixture, ( it will keep absorbing the liquid). Does it need more liquid?……. you can add extra. Stand with a lid on for a couple of minutes. According to the Italians this is the most important step in risotto making.
Ladel into bowls and serve with parmesan crisps and sprinkle with parmesan parsley mixture
Microformatting by hRecipe.
Are you Vegetarian or do you just like to eat vegetables like Ruby?