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?
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.