Pea, feta and hazelnut risotto
There’s something about eating a vivid green bowl of food that can’t fail to make you smile. This risotto is super fresh and will soon become a midweek favourite.
large handful of hazelnuts (blanched hazelnuts are ideal)
300g frozen peas
1 banana shallot, or 1 small onion
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
handful of mint
150g risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli work well)
150ml white wine
600–700ml boiling vegetable stock
1–2 tbsp sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
Tabasco, to serve (optional)
squeeze of lemon juice, to serve (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toast the hazelnuts in a small dry frying pan over a medium heat until lightly golden, then set aside. Weigh out your frozen peas into a bowl and set aside to defrost.
Finely chop the shallot or onion. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot or onion, along with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, for 8–10 minutes until softened but not coloured.
Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic cloves, roughly chop the toasted hazelnuts, and pick the mint leaves.
Add the garlic to the frying pan and cook for 1 minute more, then tip in the rice. Stir everything together, toast for a minute or so, then pour in the white wine.
Once the wine has been absorbed by the rice, add a ladleful of vegetable stock. Cook, stirring regularly, until the stock has been absorbed, then repeat. Keep adding the stock until most of it has been absorbed and the rice is tender with a slight bite; this will take around 20–25 minutes.
Meanwhile, tip half the peas into a blender, along with 1 tbsp of the vinegar, most of the mint, plenty of salt and pepper and 100ml water. Blitz to form a smooth, vivid green puree. (If you prefer, you can do this in a bowl using a handheld stick blender.)
Once the rice is tender, stir through the pea puree and the remaining whole peas. Finely grate in the parmesan and stir until everything is heated through. Season to taste, adding a little more vinegar if you like.
Dish up the risotto between two bowls, then crumble over the feta and scatter over the toasted hazelnuts and the remaining mint leaves. Optional: finish it with a splash of Tabasco and a squeeze of lemon, to serve.
Images and text from Sundays by Sophie Godwin, photography by Caitlin Isola. Published by Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99.