Green peas and ham are a classic combination as well as peas and mint. So why not bring them together? This risotto is favourite of mine. Fairly straight forward to make, looks vibrant on a plate and oh so good! One important tip: as soon as you add the peas to the mixture, remove immediately from the heat and mix into a puree. That’s what keep their beautiful colour and make the risotto so vibrant. The mint oil is actually mint flavoured oil; in other words, not extracted from the mint. It’s a simple way to add extra flavours to dishes and to experiment with other herbs (basil, anyone?). I usually serve this dish as a starter or a second dish right before the main course, so the portions aren’t too large.
- 150 gr arborio rice
- 450 ml hot chicken stock
- 50 gr smoked bacon rashers
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 225 gr frozen green peas, completely defrosted
- 150 ml water
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- 100 ml peanut oil
- 25 gr mint
- For the risotto, heat a tablespoon of olie with a tablespoon of butter in a pan. Add the rice and stir to coat. Pour the hot stock, bring to a boil and leave to cook on low heat until the liquid has been absorbed (about 15 minutes). you don’t need to stir the rice; you might need to shake the pan from time to time in case little heaps of rice start to form.
- In the meantime, thinly slice the bacon. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
- Heat a bit of oil in a pan and fry the bacon, onion and garlic until soft.
- Add the water and bring to a boil.
- Reserve 2 tablespoons of the peas for the garnish. Stir the rest in the pan, remove from the heat and blitz into a puree.
- Once the risotto is done stir in the pea puree, cover and leave to rest a couple of minutes.
- Combine the peanut oil and mint in a blender and blitz for 2 minutes.
- Serve the risotto on warm serving plates. Garnish with reserved peas, a drizzle of the mint oil and freshly ground black pepper.