Usually I write up a little intro to the In the Kitchen With recipes each Friday, but stylist/photographer Pia Jane Bijkerk was so eloquent, she rendered me useless, so I will let her introduce herself and her recipe for Pea, Mint, and Feta Risotto, with but a tiny observation of my own.
If you haven’t had a chance to search for Pia’s book at your nearest bookstore, online or otherwise, take a moment, if only to remind you of all the beautiful things there are out there to be admired. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! (Click here to read an interview with Pia about her latest book) Happy Friday! -Kristina
I’ve noticed that some people are put off by the stirring needed for a risotto but I find it absolutely therapeutic – a well enjoyed break from my busy life, a time where I can have a cup of tea or glass of wine and just unwind, stirring my busy-ness away. I also love watching the water birds frolic in the canal outside my kitchen window, and you won’t believe the fantastic water loving creatures I had visit me while I made this one especially for you! You’ll soon see in the photos to follow.
Also just for fun, I’ve included some of the wonderful ceramic pieces I bought in the handmade boutiques of Paris that I featured in my book! So without further ado, here is my recipe for pea, mint and feta risotto, with a cup of jasmine tea to finish, I do hope you enjoy…
CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!
Pea, mint and feta risotto…
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
4 cups of warm vegetable stock
½ cup of crumbled feta
½ bunch of mint, leaves torn
2 cups of fresh or frozen peas
1 onion, finely chopped
1garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
Bring ½ litre of water to the boil and then blanch the peas, garlic and mint leaves with a teaspoon of salt in the water. Leave for about 3 minutes.
Remove about ¼ of the peas and mint, and place the rest into a blender, along with the water and purée.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan on a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Then add the rice and stir for about a minute until the rice is nice and glossy.
Add about a cup of the warm vegetable stock and stir slowly, allowing the rice to gently absorb the stock (this is a good time to look out the window as you stir, or sip a glass of lovely white wine. Look, there’s a swan!). Once the stock has been absorbed and the rice is gently bubbling away, add another cup of stock and repeat the above. Do this for each cup of stock to follow but after the third cup has been absorbed taste your risotto – at this point it should be nearly ready but if you taste that its still a little too crunchy then add a little more stock if you have it or just water. Then with the last cup of stock, add the purée pea, mint and garlic and stir to combine and allow all the liquid to be absorbed. Smell that beautiful mint!
When the rice is al dente (this should take about 25 minutes), first taste to see if it needs a little salt and if so, add. Then turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan. Stir in the remaining pea and mint (stylist’s trick: serve the risotto in each bowl first and then loosely place the remaining pea and mint throughout the risotto so that all the gorgeous green does not get lost during serving) (but don’t take too long because the risotto will go cold!)
Top with the crumbled feta, a dash of cracked pepper and serve immediately.