Risotto with pea shoots and mint


Seriously, no-one could be miserable with this colourful risotto on their plate. Pea shoots add a seasonal touch and make the dish a bit special – you can often buy them bagged in the supermarket salad area, but failing that they are available from garden centres at this time of year (use baby mange tout plants and cut the tops off) or you could try and grow your own for the purpose.

Serves 4

2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
300g risotto rice
1litre vegetable stock (see my separate recipe)
3tbsp olive oil
200g frozen peas
100g frozen baby broad beans
20 small leaves mint
30–40 pea shoots
salt and pepper to taste

Dice the onions and finely chop the garlic. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan add the olive oil and heat on a medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic and risotto rice. Stir for a couple of minutes, then add the stock. Cook for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will see the liquid becoming absorbed into the rice and a creaminess starting to develop. When most of the liquid has been absorbed, add the peas and broad beans and stir some more.
Slice the mint leaves into very thin strips and add to the risotto, then add the salt and pepper to taste. Once the rice is cooked (test it when the surrounding liquid has the consistency of double cream – you might need a little extra water), add the pea shoots (save some to use as a garnish). Serve a couple of minutes later, when the shoots are lightly steamed.

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