Made an excellent dinner tonight! I've been wanting to make the CL Spring Seafood Stew from May '02 (excellent, excellent), accomplished that and had Risotto with Garden Peas, Basil and Saffron and a salad to go with it. (Yes, I put together really odd menus.) I still have Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone checked out from my library, and I'm trying to make the most of it before it has to go back.
The risotto (say ree-ZAW-toh ) is excellent! So fragrant, colorful and tasty. I just bought my first ever saffron from Penzey's, and was looking for something to try it out in. This will be even better later in the summer with fresh peas and tomatoes instead of the funky supermarket ones.
Risotto with Garden Peas, Basil and Saffron
From Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
2 pounds fresh pod peas or 2 cups frozen
6 cups basic vegetable stock (page 196)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallot or onion
2 pinches saffron threads, ground in a mortar
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup mascarpone or créme fraîche, optional
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to finish
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
8 large basil leaves, thinly slicked
salt and freshly ground pepper
Shuck the peas if using fresh ones. Have the stock simmering on the stove.
Melt the butter in a wide pot. Add the shallot and saffron and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the shallot has softened and the saffron has released its color, about 3 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute. Raise the heat, add the wine and cook until it's absorbed. Add 2 cups stock, cover and cook at a lively simmer [I just loved that term!!] until it's absorbed. Begin adding the stock in 1/2-cup increments, stirring constantly until each addition is absobed before adding the next. When the rice is nearly done and only two more additions remain [of the stock], stir in the peas. Add the last of the stock, then stir in the mascarpone, parmesan, tomatoes and basil. Taste for salt, season with pepper and serve with extra cheese and chives strewn over the top.
My notes: Serves 4 my eye... I'm starting to notice that Deborah's serving sizes are enormous. I'd say this serves 6-8 unless it's your entreé and you're starving.
I didn't have any créme fraîche (surprise) and didn't plan far enough in advance to make her faux fraîche, so I stirred in about 1/4 cup light sour cream instead.
I used frozen peas, and next time I would add them closer to the end. They lost some of their vibrancy. I like raw peas anyway.
Thank you Lisa....it does sound bella!
A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat---Old New York Proverb
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him the entire weekend.---Zenna Schaffer
Never eat more than you can lift.---Miss Piggy
thanks for the review!!
would you just buy that book, already!!
(I own it, and it is great.)
since it is a vegetarian cookbook, I would imagine that the risotto is meant to be a main dish. so that is why the serving size seems large, probably.
thanks for the review! sounds yummy- the farmers markets have just started for the summer- here's my first excuse to go.
and i second val- you need this book!
I've heard quite a bit about this book. Can someone tell me if its worth purchasing? I am not vegetarian but like to incorporate veggie meals into our weekly menus, plus get a little more creative with my veggies sides. I think I'll have to check it out. Btw, does in have the nutritional info along with the recipes?
it is definitely worth buying for your purposes, yp. I am not a vegetarian either, and I love it. There is a wealth of information about veggies/grains/beans along with tons (yes, tons) of recipes -- appetizers, sides, main dishes, breads, salads.
no nutritional info, though.
also, many of her recipes are not lowfat, but you can tinker with them, of course.
p.s. there have been entire threads on this book if you want more info on particular favorite recipes. just run a search...
I made this again tonight since tomatoes are in season. It's really fabulous. I couldn't find fresh peas, and thought I had some frozen ones, but when it came time to add them, I didn't. I subbed frozen green beans and it was still the best meal I've had in at least a week.
I also was very stoked to find mascarpone for the first time here! Wooooo hoooooooooo!
Thanks for bringing this up. I have this book but it was one of many I got through the book club in the fall, so I haven't tried much from it yet. The recipes that caught my eye right off were all warm hearty things that don't seem right in 100 degree weaather, so I haven't even pulled it off the shelf lately. I need to rediscover it.
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