Risotto was one of the casualties of the Atkins craze. When carbs were the enemy, rice dishes like this fell out of favor. And while food trends have since moved on, risotto has, for some reason, never fully recovered. That’s unfortunate, because this dish falls in the middle section of a Venn diagram where Comfort and Elegance overlap.
Now is a good time to reconsider risotto, because if you’re willing to stand and stir awhile, risotto is a great way to showcase English peas, those sweet, tender pearls just now coming into season.
P.S. If you don’t feel like standing and stirring but are lucky enough to have fresh English peas on hand, you could always eat them like Claudia Ferrell, co-owner of Berry Patch Farms, does: on the porch, shelling them as you eat, watching a storm blow in.
Risotto with English Peas and Parmesan
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 to 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth, simmering on the stove
1 cup shelled English peas
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
A handful of parsley, chopped
Melt the butter and olive oil on medium heat, then add the onion and cook about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute. Then add the wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Add 2 cups of stock and cook over medium-high heat until the liquid has been absorbed, then add 1/2 cup of stock at time, stirring frequently. Let it bubble away before adding another 1/2 cup of stock, until only about 1 cup of stock remains. Then add the peas and the remaining stock and cook until the rice is done. Stir in parmesan, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with parsley before serving.