Cover Photo by Rachel Gorjesta
Spring is in the air! The temperature has finally risen above zero and the sun is shining. Sure, there may have been some snow recently but we’re now well into March and spring is definitely making its way to Toronto.
At Earth + City we champion seasonal, local food and with the change in season we start to see lots of new produce becoming available at farmers’ markets and grocers. In Ontario this means asparagus, rhubarb, garlic scapes and, of course, peas!
To welcome in this warmer weather and the glut of greens that come with it, we have a delicious spring pea risotto recipe. A classic dish that is simple to make and bursting with bright flavours.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
1 L of vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fresh (or frozen) spring peas
Handful of fresh mint
½ cup vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast
Place oil in a heavy-bottomed pot on the stove, turn the heat to medium/low and add your onion. While the onion is cooking, heat your stock on the stove in another pot.
Once the onion has turned translucent (after 5-10 minutes), add in the arborio rice and stir for minute or two, or until it is coated in oil and slightly translucent. Add the white wine and cook until it has fully absorbed.
Next, add your stock to the rice one ladleful at a time, waiting for each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next one. Continue stirring the rice the entire time.
While the rice is cooking, take half of your spring peas and place them in a bowl. Cover with boiling water to let them cook (this works for both frozen and fresh). After about a minute or two, drain the peas and transfer them to a blender or food processor along with the juice of half the lemon and a few mint leaves. Blitz the peas, lemon and mint into a puree.
Once the rice is cooked (after 25-30 minutes) to al dente and most of the stock liquid is absorbed, add the rest of your peas, the pea puree and parmesan or nutritional yeast to the risotto. Stir until fully combined: the heat from the risotto should cook the remaining peas.
Serve the risotto in bowls and garnish with a few shredded mint leaves, a little olive oil and the rest of the lemon juice.
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