Risotto really is a dish for all seasons. It brings comfort and warmth in the winter but can also be a great showcase for lighter, more summery flavours. This version pops with sweet peas and is complemented by tangy roast cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!
Vegetable Stock Pot(ContainsCelery, Sulphites)
Hard Cheese (Italian Style)(ContainsMilk, Egg)
Steve's Leaves Peashoots
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Put the water (amount specified in the ingredient list) in a large saucepan and add the vegetable stock pot. Bring to a gentle simmer and stir to dissolve. TIP: Leave the stock on the lowest heat to keep it hot during the whole cooking process.
Halve, peel and thinly slice the shallot into half moons. Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Zest and juice the lemon. Pick the basil leaves from their stalks (discard the stalks). Put the cherry tomatoes on a baking tray. Drizzle over a little oil and the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and black pepper. Roast on the top shelf of your oven until soft and juicy, 12-15 mins, then remove and set aside.
Meanwhile, put a knob of butter (if you have some) in another large saucepan on medium-low heat. TIP: If you don’t have butter use a glug of olive oil instead. Add the shallot and cook gently until translucent, 4 mins. Add the garlic and half the lemon zest and continue to cook for 1 minute more. TIP: Don't let the shallot burn. If it's cooking too fast or beginning to brown, add a splash of water and turn the heat to low.
Add the arborio rice to the pan and cook, stirring, until the grains are glossy and slightly translucent around the edges, 3 mins. TIP: If you have some white wine, add a good splash now and let it bubble away for a minute. Add two ladlefuls of stock to the rice and cook, stirring, until it has nearly all been absorbed. Continue adding ladlefuls of stock and stirring until your rice is cooked, 20-25 mins.
In the last 5 mins of the risotto cooking time, add the peas to the pan. Once your risotto is almost ready, tear in the basil and add the hard Italian cheese. TIP: Your risotto should have a lava-like consistency so add a little water if it needs loosening up. Taste and season with salt and black pepper if you feel it needs it. Add a little lemon juice too but be careful or it will overwhelm the other flavours!
Serve your risotto in bowls, topped with some roasted cherry tomatoes and a handful of pea shoots. Enjoy!