entertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gillrecipes

in the kitchen with: pia jane bijkerk

by Grace Bonney

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…
(Serves 4)

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.


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  • Risotto really is the ultimate comfort food–and what a perfect way to use some of the lovely fresh peas appearing at the farmer’s market this time of year. Simply dreamy photos, of course!

  • This looks delish! Thanks for the mint/feta combo idea! But I normally find that 1.5 cups of Arborio needs more like 5-6 cups of liquid, no? Deborah Madison’s cookbooks call for this ratio, and I never use the same amount exactly (depends on the other ingredients in the risotto and how much, if any, liquid they may put off), but almost always, more than 5 c. of broth.

  • thanks guys! i hope you enjoy making this.

    catherine yes i agree, i tend to use different amounts of broth each time too. and with this recipe the liquid from the puree does add a little more to the 4 cups i’ve suggested.


  • Wow – this sounds like my idea of heaven :) I just happen to have all the ingredients in my fridge so will get cracking now, my mouth is watering!
    Thank you!

  • And there are the swans! Yummy–I love pea puree over pasta so I can’t wait to try this variation! I expected you to say, throw that glass of white into the rice and pour yourself another one . . .

  • haha, that’s a great idea jennifer g! can someone try it in place of a cup of stock? i haven’t tried it with this recipe, but I’m sure it must be delicious!

  • Not only is the recipe interesting and no doubt delicious. I will try it for dinner tonight but I love the images in the photos that were taken for this post ! Absolutely gorgeous !!!

  • I just got my copy of Pia’s book today. Cannot wait to explore these places next trip. I will definitely try this risotto. Yum!

  • I made this tonight for dinner (my boyfriend is still washing dishes as we speak) and, despite a pretty large repertoire of risotto recipes, I have to say, this one was the most delicious we have ever made. A perfect dinner for the first sunny Spring day in a while. Thank you so much!

  • Was going to make Pea Rissoto this weekend now I’m going to make Pea, Mint, and Feta Risotto.

  • Wow, that looks like the most deliciously romantic risotto of all time. Last week I made a great version with pearl barley instead of arborio rice and it was tasty. Mmmm…

  • I made this tonight. There is way too much liquid when you use the puree and vegies. Also I’d love to know what half a bunch of mint equates to.
    It was delicious though.

  • Oh wow, that sounds incredible. I, too, enjoy the process of stirring the risotto. I think I may try this recipe tonight with some pork chops! Yum!

  • this was one of the most beautiful recipes i’ve ever made, and most beautifully written! look, a swan! i followed the directions to a T – white wine and looking out the window included. it was a lovely afternoon with a beautiful dinner to top it off!

  • I made this recipe last night, followed the recipe exactly and it came out PERFECT! I’ve heard that risotto is hard to get right, so I was quite nervous to give it a try, but it couldn’t have come out better. Can’t wait to make it again!!! Thanks!!!

  • I tried this recipe for the first time today. I invited my mom over for lunch and we are both risotto experts (being form Northern Italy.) We absolutely loved this dish! It is simply delicious and very fresh tasting! I also really enjoyed the way the directions are written. It really added to the experience of cooking for me. Grazie Pia.

  • Hi! I love this recipe! i especially love the photos! I see you mentioned the egg cup you purchased in a boutique in Paris. I’ve been looking for years for a set of egg cups/ceramic pieces like this one ANYWHERE and cannot find them. do you know of a place in the US?