Risotto with Fresh Pea Pods and Feta

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fresh pea and feta risotto
Greek cheese in an Italian dish? Sure!

We had a little bonus bag of fresh pea pods in the refrigerator, and nothing says spring like fresh peas, even if they are in pods. Slightly sweet and bursting with green flavor, we would have been happy to have eaten them raw right out of the bag. But, we did not. Why? Well, that would cheat you out of this post, and cheat us out of another batch of risotto.

Almost always our risottos are simply made from what we have on hand: mushrooms, peas, squash; just about anything can be used in risotto, and it almost always tastes great, so there’s no sense in being shy about trying new flavor combinations. Like this one. We’re not sure that an Italian would ever add feta cheese to risotto, but we would. Especially since we had a chunk just sitting in the refrigerator. Plus, we thought that the salty feta would be a good match for those fresh peas. Since all our risottos are made in the same manner, we decided to just do the abbreviated version of a post and refer you to our post for Asparagus Risotto for detailed instructions.

Risotto with Fresh Pea Pods and Feta

Yield: 4 servings

Risotto with Fresh Pea Pods and Feta

Ingredients

  • 4 cups mild-flavored broth or stock, simmering
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely minced green onion (about 4 green onions)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 3 ounces fresh pea pods, topped and tailed, and sliced diagonally
  • 2-3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 small asparagus spears, trimmed, and shaved thinly with a vegetable peeler, for garnish

Abbreviated Instructions

Melt butter with olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add rice and stir to coat,then cook until rice is slightly translucent, but no more than 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring often, until absorbed.

Add about 1/3 cup of broth, and continue to cook, stirring often, until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/3 cup at a time, and cooking and stirring until absorbed between additions, until rice is tender on the outside and slightly chewy in the center. This will take from 20 to 40 minutes.

Add peas, feta cheese, and Parmesan cheese, stir, remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Stir again, taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

http://scratchinit.halversen.com/2016/03/risotto-with-fresh-pea-pods-and-feta/

While this turned out pretty well, it wasn’t our best risotto. The problem, we think, is that feta cheese doesn’t really melt, at least not like Parmesan, so the risotto didn’t get as creamy as we would have liked. Even so, the flavor combination was good and we really like the fresh peas. Of course, what’s not to like about fresh peas, right? And, they went well with the feta cheese. Next time, we’d consider using Parmesan as the main cheese, and crumbling feta on top of the risotto for serving. Four stars

Worth the trouble?

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