In case you missed it, peas are the new kale.
It turns out that those humble legumes are a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber. Recent studies have suggested that eating peas regularly may reduce some types of cancer.
However, when many think of peas, they conjure up negative connotations such as the salty, over-cooked grey kinds that were a staple of school lunches when I was growing up. Granted, if that was the only way to prepare peas, few people would want to eat them regardless of any would-be health benefits.
Thankfully, that is not the case.
There are few things better then tender green peas. When I was a kid, we grew them in our garden and often ate them right out the pod or in some cases, raw with a little cream and salt.
When fresh peas aren’t in season, frozen ones can be used. (I think they are one of the few vegetables that taste nearly as good frozen as they do fresh.)
Given the recent spell of grey winter weather that has hit most of the East Coast, I’ve been making a lot of green pea and mushroom risotto lately. Risotto is often thought of a spring dish, but I tend to think it is even better in the winter. Something about the warmth and creaminess just screams comfort in the cold.
While some think of risottos as fancy and time-consuming, nothing could be further from the truth.
Below is my favorite fast and easy risotto recipe. While I have included measurements, the beauty of this recipe is that you don’t have to be exact. Enjoy alone or as a side!
- 1 small onion diced
- 1-2 gloves of garlic crushed or chopped fine
- 4 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cup of arborio rice
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of frozen peas
- 1/4 cup of chopped mushrooms
1. Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil in a sauce pan until nicely brown.
2. When nearly all the liquid is gone, add the rice and stir. Be careful not to burn the rice.
3. Turn the heat down to medium and add about 1/2 cup of the stock. Stir with a wooden or heat-safe spatula until nearly all the liquid is absorbed by the rice.
4. When the liquid is nearly gone, add another 1/2 cup of stock and repeat step 2.
5. Keep repeating this process until the rice is tender but still firm.
6. Add the peas and mushrooms and cover the pan with a lid. Let cook for 2-3 minutes before removing the pan from the heat and setting it aside for up to 5 minutes.
7. Remove lid and serve.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Kimberly Lo
Editor: Renee Picard
Image: Katrin Morenz at Flickr