Sweet Pea Oven Risotto w/ Garlicky Pea Shoots by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

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


  1. preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.

sarah's notes:

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. 

similar recipes:

herbed black beluga lentils w/ garlic scapes & yogurt sauce

herbed black beluga lentils w/ garlic scapes & yogurt sauce

cilantro black rice w/ roasted asparagus & garlic scapes

cilantro black rice w/ roasted asparagus & garlic scapes

pea shoot, radish & fermented jalepeno tostadas

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chickpea bean bowl w/ toasted breadcrumbs + dill-tahini by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

me and frank are moving at the end of the week!  we're only heading down the block, but among awesome things like that fact that the apartment is a little over 100 sq. ft. bigger than our current place, it also has a backyard!  nyc's rents are insane, therefore we never thought we would find and be able to afford a place in our neighborhood with an outside space, so discovering this apartment was a very happy surprise!  i can't wait to have a little piece of earth to dig around in, an area to make ours, and to have summer hangs with friends and family.  frank, being brought up in north carolina is already plotting to slow-cook some of his favorite meals outside on the grill, as well as other projects that he will now have the room for. however, i'm a bit more excited for our pup, quint to have a space to run around in, dig about, and get curious in the outside elements, him being cooped up in an apartment for most of the day has always made me a bit sad.   i'm hoping to come back here soon with an update, and some shots of the new place, and hopefully some backyard progress (especially since we haven't seen it since it was covered in about 2 ft. of snow!).  

but on to more important things!  today is a special, special post because it's in honor of bringing a tiny babe into the world!  the lovely erin from naturally ella is having a baby boy(!), so a few of us are getting together to spread some internet baby shower joy!!! so on this special day, erin, i wish you all the very best in this momentous occasion! 

if you're familiar with erin's awesome blog and her cookbooks, then you recognize that she's best known for her simple and delicious vegetarian meals.  erin's recipes always inspire me to keep things simple and fresh; that meals with a short list of ingredients and seasonal produce can go a long way! in that spirit i thought i would share a springy meal that's good as a side, substantial for dinner, and plentiful enough for a soon-to-be mama!    it's an easy-peasy salad with beans and peas, because a baby and mama are the essential pea (or bean) in a pod!  

here's to erin, her family, and her first little one!  big hugs to you, lady xo

and i can't wait to check out all the delicious recipes from everyone else who participated in erin's baby shower! go check them out!

The FauxmarthaA Couple CooksEdible PerspectiveEat This Poem Cookie and KateFoodieCrush |The Bojon GourmetGirl Versus Dough |Food Loves WritingWith Food + LoveLondon Bakes This Homemade LifeFlourishing Foodie |  | My Name is YehBrooklyn Supper 


chickpea bean bowl w/ toasted breadcrumbs + dill tahini (gf + v)

the dill-tahini adds an herby note, but if you're not a fan of dill substitute another herb like basil, tarragon or parsley.  if fresh fava beans or shelling peas haven't made it to your neck of the woods yet, simply sub. in a frozen variety.   and as far as gluten-free breadcrumbs go, my favorites are Ian's brand (italian seasoned), and a local brand, Aleias (also italian seasoned).

| serves 2-4 |

  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill, more for serving 
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound english shelling peas, shelled
  • 1 pound fava beans, shelled
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • handful of baby arugula
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley 
  • 1-2 tablespoons toasted gluten-free breadcrumbs, ground


  • make the tahini.  whisk together tahini, garlic, lemon juice, dill, salt, pepper, and water.  Set aside until ready to serve.
  • cook the beans and peas.  bring an inch of water to a simmer and steam the fava beans for approximately 2-3 minutes, until just tender; run under cold water to stop them cooking.  place peas in steamer and cook for 1 1/2-2 1/2 minutes, until just tender (cook time depends on freshness and size of peas); rinse under cold water to stop from cooking.  remove outer layer of fava beans and discard.  
  • in a serving bowl, toss chickpea, fava beans, peas, arugula, parsley, oil, vinegar, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. toss in breadcrumbs and a few tablespoons of tahini sauce, taste and adjust seasoning; garnish with leftover dill and serve. 


more recipes:

turmeric chickpeas w/ pear and kale

turmeric chickpeas w/ pear and kale

spicy chickpea stew w/ quinoa pilaf

spicy chickpea stew w/ quinoa pilaf

asparagus + broccoli rabe saute w/ chive-chickpea mash

asparagus + broccoli rabe saute w/ chive-chickpea mash

asparagus, pea + broccoli rabe sauté over a chickpea + chive mash by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

it feels like it wasn't even that long ago we were still bundling up just walk outside, but these past few weeks there's been a break in the cold.  i've planted some sprouts on my fire escape, and frank's allergies have returned with a vengeance.  this new season all seems so fresh, yet we're already looking at summer and realizing we need to make plans before it gets away from us.  last year around this time frank and i were in a bit of a wedding prep daze; where our mornings, nights, and weekends were filled with runs here or there, creating invites, and even bagging coffee.  this year we're looking forward to a change, to get away, and enjoy our summer and see some family.  we're making plans to take a road trip down to frank's family in north carolina, and introduce our little pup to his family; as well as realizing a long awaited trip to LA to see my bro and sis-in-law, and meet their 2 furry, four-legged children.  we're also stoked to have the time this summer to just chill out and do what comes our way - sometimes the best things in life happen when they're not planned at all!   

much like chilling out and taking things as they come, this dish is a lot like that.  on most sunday evenings you can find me cooking up a big heap of veggies, be it leftover ramp greens with spring onions and chard or kale, asparagus or green beans - it all goes in the skillet with olive oil, lemon, salt + pepper, for a light sauté.  it's usually coupled with black rice or quinoa, all topped off with a bog dollop of hummus.  i stir it altogether and make a big mess of it.  here, i chose to restrain the messiness, and also highlight the chickpeas, but in a mashed form as opposed to the ubiquitous hummus purée.  the veggies were chosen according to what was at the market that day - but can certainly be swapped for what's available to you. this dish is totally light and springy, but has the depth and heartiness for a substantial meal.  

asparagus, pea + broccoli rabe sauté over a chickpea + chive mash (gf + v)

chickpea + chive mash inspired by Food & Wine Magazine, May 2014

| serves 4 as a side, 2 for a meal |


  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut into 1-2" pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas, (frozen are good too!)
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, stems trimmed
  • half of a serrano pepper, minced (i kept the seeds in for more heat) (you could also use a jalepeno or habanero pepper)
  • 4-5 green onions, trimmed and sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil, for cooking

chive-chickpea mash

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • salt + pepper to taste


chickpea + chive mash

  • place half of the cooked chickpeas, chives, garlic, lemon juice, oil and salt + pepper in a food processor.  while running, drizzle water until you get a thick puree. taste, and adjust seasoning if needed.  add the remaining chickpeas and pulse to break them up a bit
  • transfer the mash to a saucepan over medium heat, let it warm up for about 5 minutes


  • heat a large skillet over medium heat, coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil (about 1 1/2 teaspoons).  add onions and minced chili pepper, cook while stirring every few seconds for about 30 seconds - until fragrant. add asparagus and peas, cook for about 2 minutes (i cooked them long enough so they weren't raw, but not too long that they lost their bite.  (if not using super fresh produce you may need to cook a little longer - just taste along the way), then add broccoli rabe and lemon juice, cook until wilted and liquid has reduced a bit - about 2 minutes.  remove from heat
  • serve the chive-chickpea mash individually; using tongs, top with a big heap of the sautéed vegetables