Green peas are one of the most nutritious legumes. These little guys are low in fat and high in just about everything that’s good for you. One cup has fewer than 100 calories but packs tons of protein, fiber and antioxidants. The natural sweetness of these green bites is at its peak in the spring, and a handful of chopped mint helps underscore their freshness. All other seasonings in this risotto are kept mellow to let the flavor of the peas really shine through.
Shrimp Risotto Recipe with Fresh Garden Peas Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (like Pinot Grigio)
2 cups fresh garden peas, shelled
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
- Heat the broth in a medium saucepan over high heat until very hot and then reduce the heat to keep the broth hot.
- In large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and salt and sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the shallot softens, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the grains are well coated with oil and the edges become translucent, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook until it’s mostly evaporated, about 1 min.
- Ladle 1 cup of hot broth into the pan, bring to a boil and adjust the heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth has been mostly absorbed, 2 to 3 min. Add more broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring and simmering until it has been absorbed each time. Continue until rice is al dente (creamy but still fairly firm), about 15 minutes.
- Add the peas along with the final cup of broth. Stir in the shrimp right before all the broth is absorbed and cook until pink, about 3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in mint, lemon juice and zest.
When shopping for fresh garden peas, look for firm, velvety pods. Their color should be a lively medium green. Avoid those with especially light or dark color, or spots. Gently shake the pods to make sure they are nice and full and not rattling. If fresh peas aren’t available, substitute frozen shelled peas, thawed.