I made up this recipe last night to use what is starting to be the last of the peas from our garden. Next year, I'm considering planting more peas, and possibly planting climbing peas. I can put up a fence or something for them to grow on. Right now, it's really difficult to pick them, crouching over and trying to reach the middle of the bed. I see other people picking them easily from their garden paths, and I'm jealous.
For this recipe, I used all the peas I picked in one day, which came to about 2 cups shelled. I also used up half of a bag of frozen zucchini (maybe another two cups?), a chunk of frozen basil (a few tablespoons, probably), and 2 or 3 of our small leeks. This can all be adjusted according to taste or what you have on hand.
Green risotto (with leeks, peas, zucchini, and basil)
One largish zucchini and 1 or 2 smaller ones (I used maybe 2 cups of chopped frozen zucchini)
A couple of cups of freshly shelled peas
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of arborio rice
Some wine (.5 to 1 cup?)
Basil (fresh or frozen)
Finely chop some basil to garnish, and set aside.
Shell the peas (if you haven't already). Set aside.
Chop up the large zucchini and bring to a boil in a pot with broth(about 4-5 cups). Boil until soft, then puree with a stick blender, standard blender or food processor. Return to pot and keep on low on the stove.
Chop up the leeks and saute for about 4 minutes in olive oil in a medium to large saucepan. Add the rice and stir until it starts making clicking sounds, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed.
Start adding a couple ladle-fulls of the zucchini/broth puree, slowly stirring the rice with a wooden spoon while it absorbs the liquid. Each time you can see the bottom of the pot when you stir, add some more liquid and puree. After about 5 minutes, add the peas so that they will cook along with the rice. If you prefer the peas to be very well done, add them when you start adding broth; if you prefer them less cooked, add them a bit later.
It will take anywhere from 25-45 minutes for the rice to cook and absorb all or most of the liquid. After 25-30 minutes, start tasting for doneness. If you don't use all the liquid, it's ok - if you need to add more liquid, add water, broth, wine, or anything else you think of to create a different flavor.
Add the chopped basil, and pass the parmesan cheese at the table to add on top. Enjoy!!