August 2, 2010

Seasonal Highlight: Peas (Giveaway Post!)


Don’t think I can’t see you through the computer screen. You opened this post with a schtank eye and a smirk. You’re waiting for me to unleash a torrent of horrendous pea puns, and I’m offended by your lack of faith.

Doesn’t mean you’re not right.

If you recall my recent clafouti experiment, you’ll note that I sang the praises of The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market Cookbook. Well, I’ve had another success with one of its recipes—this time, with peas.

Behold: Risi e Bisi.


Risi e Bisi is a risotto recipe typical of the Veneto. I know many people are intimidated by the thought of making homemade risotto, but it’s really not hard at all. It’s not as though it’s challenging technique-wise, so long as you follow the recipe. It just takes time (and a lot of stirring) to complete the process. I didn’t find it unpleasant at all—in fact, I’d consider the repetitive motions a form of kitchen thera-pea. Bazing!


Indeed, shelling two pounds of peas becomes fairly meditative after a while, and though it took nearly an hour, I decided there was something both deeply satisfying and depressing about putting in so much work for relatively little yield.

As suspected, however, the result was creamy, buttery and well worth the effort.


This dish will definitely need to be re-pea-ted.

Speaking of which, what do you call it when you eat leftover peas?

Give up?



Fine, just for that, I won’t share how I came up with the improvised pea drizzle-garnish stuff.


Ok, you talked me into it. Here’s the reci-pea:

(And you thought you were safe!)

After you’ve boiled the pea pods to make the risotto’s broth, ignore the instruction that says to discard them. (Sorry, can’t share the book’s recipe since I didn’t change anything, but do check it out sometime!) Before you get wrapped up in risotto pour-and-stir process, throw the drained pea pods in a blender with a cup of water, a couple tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, a dash of garlic powder and S+P. Blend smooth (and to taste) and set aside until you’re ready to top your serving of risotto.


No need to waste all that tasty pea by-product, right? And trust me: this addition to the Risi e Bisi recipe makes it all come out really well. ;)

Speaking of reducing waste (no more pea jokes, I swear…except for that one), I have a mini-giveaway for any readers who happen to live in NYC. Remember when I got to attend the opening of Otarian? Well, I have since dined there a couple more times, and it really is mighty tasty (not to mention quick, veg- and environmentally-friendly). There are two locations here in Manhattan: one on Bleecker Street and one on 8th Avenue in midtown. You must go try the paneer wrap!

To sweeten the deal, I have precisely 23 Otarian Carbon Karma Cards to give away. Every time you use your card, you rack up Karma Credits depending on how much carbon omission you conserved by choosing an Otarian meal. Once you have a certain amount of points, you become elegible for free stuff (the first 100 points will get you a free Choco Treat, for example).

So if that sounds good to you (and why wouldn’t it?), let me know in the comments and I will mail a card to the first 23 New Yorkers to do so. While you’re at it, go ahead and email your mailing address to diana at soapandchocolate dot com.



JL Goes Vegan said...

I love peas! The post was inspiring! I would love an Otarian card! I've been meaning to go there! (metro NYC, work in the city). Thanks!

Gena said...

I don't need to enter the giveaway, because you already gave away (you generous lady, you), BUT I wanted to say that this recipe looks like heaven in a bowl. The pea soup I made a few weeks back was quite literally the highlight of my spring, so I can relate!

MelissaNibbles said...

I love peas. Peas, whole wheat pasta, and goat cheese is one of my faves. I need to try my hand at rissoto.

katherine said...

So glad you finally got to make this dish!! No need to enter the giveaway since you're already such a giver and my card is tucked safely in my wallet, but couldn't resist a chance to praise your culinary prowess yet again ;-)

Shannon said...

really, you ended with peace and not peas? :) fabulous dish, lady!

Diana @ VEGeneration said...

Hi Diana! We share the same name :D

I'd love to have an Otarian card! Read about it online and wanted to check it out some time. I go to school in NYC but I'll email you my home address. Thanks :]

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

I'm not a New no giveaway entry for me. I just wanted to say that shelling peas *is* a very special kind of therapy...and heaven knows I could use some therapy these days. ;-)

The risotto recipe looks delicious!

Stephanie Talutis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steph T said...

The risotto looks amazing! Almost as amazing as a trip to Otarian would be. I just moved to NY for school, and I would love to try it out.

Katie said...

I'm #10! Hope that qualifies me :-) I've really wanted to try this place out!

P.S. Sorry I've been so bad about getting back to you about our ice cream social. My schedule's a little crazy right now but I hope to see you soon!

Caronae said...

I'm a New Yorker, I'm a New Yorker! Sometimes I just like saying that. :) And I love fresh peas!

Should I send you my address?

Diana said...

@caronae: Of course!

Mary @ Bites and Bliss said...

hahah I laughed at every play on "peas" in this post! As a kid, I was probably the only one who actually loved peas :P That hasnt changed much so this looks absolutely delicious!