apparently there's something called june gloom here in southern california. the mornings and early afternoons are cloudy and chilly, and the late afternoons open up to bright blue skies and warm sunshine. but i'm not really finding anything super gloomy about it (for now). back in new york there would be super cold spring days, and the kind of spring days that are muggy and in the 80's. essentially, real spring days are numbered in new york, which is why i'm loving the LA weather lately. and to be honest, i'm not quite in shorts or bathing suit shape yet, so i'm selfishly excited i still get to rock yoga pants and sweatshirts for a little bit longer.
the desert nights are another thing i absolutely love here. no matter how hot it gets during the day there are always enough cool breezes to go around and sufficiently cool everything down. which is why i love this spring risotto dish. the recipe hits that seasonal in between perfectly, in that it has all those great spring vegetables, but it's cozy enough for a cool night. the risotto comes from sarah waldman's new book, Feeding A Family. i had been anxiously awaiting sarah's book since she began teasing posts about it on instagram a ways back, and she was kind enough to send me a copy. i'm a big fan of her site and love that she lived on my favorite island in the world, martha's vineyard.
the book is organized by season. in each season are dinner recipes accompanied by a side dish, and in most cases, a dessert. the book provides great structure for making family-based meals, which i love. in this (still) new world of having a baby, and still trying to prepare meals for my family, this book is a wonderful guide. sarah's recipe are approachable yet delicate, and are inclusive of lots of diets. but what i love most is her notes on how to make each recipe baby-friendly, or how to involve your older children in the process of making a meal. her notes also include how to turn "tonight's dinner" into tomorrow's dinner. so clever!
this risotto was super simple to put together. for someone who never knew you could make risotto in an oven, this was a revelation. it's so awesome to know there's a baby/family-friendly risotto recipe out there that doesn't require you to stand over a pot stirring for 40 minutes. and the rice comes out just as creamy and delicious as if you stood over that pot. i made some substitutions that are more friendly to my diet which i highlight in the notes below ;)
june hugs! xo
sweet pea oven risotto w/ garlicky pea shoots
recipe from Feeding A Family by Sarah Waldman
i substituted the 4 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of ghee. you could add more, just make sure to taste as you go since ghee has a distinct flavor. i also substituted roughly 3/4 cup of nutritional yeast for the grated parmesan, but you could add more/less depending on your preference. since i didn't use parmesan there's a lack of salt. i added salt, to taste, in the step where you add the peas.
| serves 6 |
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 cups aborio rice
- 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups sweet peas (thawed if frozen, blanched in boiling water if fresh)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 handfuls of freshly grated parmesan cheese
- garlicky pea shoots, for serving
garlicky pea shoots
| serves 4 |
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced or grated on a microplane
- 3 loosely packed cups pea shoots, torn into peices
- kosher salt
- preheat oven to 400°F.
- place an oven-safe pot over medium heat. add the olive oil and the chopped shallots and saute until soft but not browned. add in the rice and cook it for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the grains glisten.
- meanwhile, pour the broth into a separate saucepan, bring it to a boil, and immediately remove it from the heat. add 4 cups of the hot broth to the rice mixture. stir to combine and bring the rice pot to a boil, the cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the rice is tender. remove the pot from the oven and add the peas, butter, the remaining 1/2 cup of broth, and handfuls of parmesean cheese. stir everything to combine and served topped with garlicky pea shoots.
garlicky pea shoots
- heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. add the minced garlic and pea shoots. continuously toss the pea shoots with garlic until they are just wilted. sprinkle with salt and serve on top of the risotto.
for baby: the sweetness and soft texture of this risotto are perfect for baby. if you'd like, stir in finely chopped pea shoots for added nutrition.
tomorrow's dinner: risotto cakes - make a second pot of oven risotto and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. the rice will get firm and sticky. form the rice into small patties and fry them in a large skillet coated with olive oil until crispy and browned on both sides.