Raymond Blanc cooked a tasty vegetarian spring pea risotto that captures the essences of Spring on Kew on a Plate.
Raymond says: “Fresh, sweet peas combined with luxurious fat grains of rice makes for an exceptional spring dish, with just enough heartiness if the weather isn’t yet that warm. For the pea pod stock, blanching the pods is essential to transform their bitter raw taste into a beautiful clean pea flavour.”
The ingredients for the pea stock are: 350g fresh pea pods, shelled, shells reserved (use the shells for the stock and the peas for the purée and vegetables) and 350ml iced water.
For the pea purée: 100g fresh peas (shelled weight) and 10g unsalted butter.
For the risotto: ½ onion, diced, 2 tbsp refined olive oil (or 30g unsalted butter), 1 small garlic clove, finely grated, 200g carnaroli rice, 100ml white wine, plus extra to finish (optional), 40g freshly grated Parmesan (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese, such as Twineham Grange), ¼ lemon, juice only and 50ml extra virgin olive oil (or 50g unsalted butter).
For the vegetables: 5g unsalted butter, 120g baby courgettes, cut into 2mm slices, 140g fresh peas (shelled weight), 40g French breakfast radish, sliced, 40g radish tops, 40g baby leaf spinach and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To garnish, 15g pea shoots, blanched in boiling water for 5 seconds and 20g Parmesan shavings (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese).