Pea Risotto with Pea Shoots and Roasted Meyer Lemon
In this springtime risotto, roasted slices of Meyer lemon lend a sweet-tangy zip. We recommend young pecorino cheese, a creamy sheep’s-milk cheese, to complement the delicate flavors in this recipe; its aged cousin, pecorino romano, is much saltier. If you can’t find young pecorino, Parmesan cheese makes a good substitute.
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small Meyer lemons, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced, seeds removed
- 5 cups (40 fl. oz./1.25 l) vegetable broth
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) thinly sliced shallots
- 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz./330 g) Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) dry vermouth or dry white wine
- 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) fresh shelled peas (from about 2 lb./1 kg pea pods)
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) finely grated young pecorino cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups (2 oz./60 g) pea shoots
Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with some of the olive oil.
Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer, drizzle with the remaining oil and roast until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Chop the lemons and set aside.
In a large measuring cup, heat the broth in the microwave until very hot. Keep warm. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and sauté until tender but not browned, 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the vermouth and cook until the liquid has been absorbed, 1 minute. Add about 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the hot broth and simmer, stirring frequently, until the broth has been absorbed. Repeat with the remaining broth, adding only 1/2 cup of the broth at a time, until all the broth has been added and the rice is just tender, about 18 minutes. During the last 8 minutes of cooking, add the peas.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the risotto among 4 shallow bowls. Sprinkle some of the roasted lemon on top of each portion. Garnish each bowl with a tangle of pea shoots and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Vegetarian, by Ivy Manning (Weldon Owen, 2013)