Spring Shrimp & Pea Risotto

Do you know what the beautiful thing about risotto is? You can make it plain (like so) or you can add whatever ingredients you want, whatever leftovers you are trying to rid your fridge of, or whatever produce is suddenly available in abundance locally and seasonally. Since I started this blog, we’ve had beet and cheddar risotto, fried risotto balls, and now I hope you won’t mind me sharing another one.

Yes, peas are in abundance here in Virginia. This particular recipe actually called for regular English peas – the kind you eat out of the pod, and the kind of peas I thought I had in my fridge. It turns out they were sugar snap peas. Oops. As you can probably see from the photo, however, it still worked out.

Shrimp and Pea Risotto (adapted from The Naked Chef Takes Off by Jamie Oliver)
Yum Factor: Alex – 7.4, Jessalyn – 8

*Note: If you’ve not read my Risotto Rules post, I highly recommend you read through that first, as I’ve not elaborated on all the instructions here.*

1. Heat a quart of vegetable stock in a saucepot on the stove.

– 1 small onion, diced
– 1/2 small fennel bulb, chopped
– 1 stalk celery, diced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
2. Saute in a bit of olive oil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.

– 1 cup arborio rice
– 1/2 – 1 cup white wine
2. When the vegetables are softened, add the rice and turn up the heat slightly, allowing the  rice to toast just a bit. Deglaze the pan with the wine, stirring about until most of the wine has evaporated.

3. Add the vegetable sock a couple ladle-fuls at a time, stirring to incorporate and until almost totally absorbed. Repeat until all stock is used (about 25 minutes).

– 1/2 – 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped into bite-size pieces
– 1/3 pound snap peas, chopped
– 5 mint leaves, chopped
– handful of basil leaves, chopped 
4. With the addition of the last ladlefuls of stock, toss in the shrimp and peas so they can cook in the warm rice (it won’t take very long–you want them to turn pink).

5. Just before serving, turn off the heat and melt in 1.5 tablespoons butter. Stir in your chopped mint and basil. Let it sit for a minute or two before serving.

What veggies are hiding out in your fridge or freezer that might inspire a spring risotto at your house? (I say spring, but let’s face it: it’s the middle of June and therefore nearly summer! I need to get my summer cooking game on fo’ realz!) If you haven’t made risotto yet, what’s stopping you? Do tell.

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