I remember sitting in a faded striped deck chair when I was younger with a bowl on my lap and popping fresh peas out of their pods. Bright green in colour, sweet to taste and fresh.

From the look of a recipe you could be mistaken for thinking risotto is a time consuming labour intensive dish. Images of being stood over a stove stirring constantly until your arm begins to ache may spring to mind.

Risotto is actually quite a simple, pain free process. Add a little stock at a time, stir and let it simmer until all the stock is soaked up by the rice. As long as it’s on a medium heat and you keep on eye on it there is no need to keep constantly stirring.

The strong colour of the risotto is made from a pea puree. Simply add the cooked peas with a little stock and whizz to make a beautiful green intense puree.

To finish off add a good handful of grated parmesan for a creamy flavour and a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.


The Recipe – Serves 4

50g butter
1 leek, finely chopped
300g cooked peas
1.7 litres vegetable stock
350g Arborio rice
200ml white wine
25g parmesan
Handful cress
Extra-virgin olive oil to finish

– In a large heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter and add the chopped leek. Cook until softened and darker in colour.
– Put 100g of peas and a ladleful of stock into a food processor and whizz until a puree is formed.
– Stir the rice into the leek, poor in the wine and stir until absorbed.
– Following this pattern, add a ladleful of stock at a time and stirring until the rice is soft. This should take around 20 minutes.
– Stir in the pea puree, the remaining peas, parmesan and cress.
– Finish off with a drizzle of oil.