Sunday Supper is celebrating all things spring and green. I am so excited, dare I say desperate for spring. Winter refuses to give us a break here in the UK which is making everyone long for warmer weather all the more. I just hope we have a decent growing year. Last year was so terrible. Speaking of growing today I am featuring an ingredient that I fell in love with last year and I was going to be oh so clever and show you how easy it is to grow it at home on your window sill. But sadly it has been so cold that the ambient temperature in my house has been too cold for my little pea shoots and I have no growth to show you. But I can tell you how to do it and you can have a try at home. The cheapest way to do this is buy a box of dried peas from your grocery store, but you can buy seeds from a garden centre. Pick a wide pot, fill it nearly full with good potting soil. Don’t worry about spacing, scatter seeds on the soil thickly. Cover with another inch of potting soil and water thoroughly. Pea shoots sprout in a week or ten days and you can begin cutting them, when they are three or four inches long. Cut it so it leaves some of the stem poking through the soil still and it will continue to grow.
But if growing them at home isn’t your thing you can buy them at the store. They should be in the section of the store with packaged greens, like spinach and other salad mixes. These wonderful leafy delights do actually have a delicate taste of sweet peas. We love them garnished in a salad, on sandwiches and also in stir-fries. This was the first in something like a risotto and I have to say it was a wonderful success. I wish I had fully read my own instructions and chopped up the pea shoots finer but it didn’t effect the flavour. Definitely a dish to eat and think about the impending spring. I can’t wait to start sowing seeds and organizing my garden. If you too are longing for spring to hurry up and get here I hope these Sunday Supper Spring inspired dishes help get you in the mood.
Pea Shoot Risotto
1 Onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
300g (1 3/4 c.) Arborio rice
100g (1 c.) Sugar Snap Peas, cut in half
100g (3.5 oz) Pea Shoots, finely chopped
25g (1/4 c.) grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp creme fraiche
1 1/2 pints vegetable stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
recipe from Pea Shoots
I love beets and I have loved them since I was young. I remember going to a friend’s house when I was about 10 and her mom served beets, something that I had never eaten before. I was raised to always at least try everything on my plate, especially if someone else served it to me. And to my shock I loved these purple roots. So I did something that I regretted at the time, I asked for more. This sadly prompted my friend’s mom saying to her kids, “See Laura likes beets”. This resulted in my friend not talking to me for almost 30 minutes. Not a very comfortable thing to happen to a young girl on a sleep over. But despite the awkward memory of my first beet experience it hasn’t tainted my love for them. My favourite way is to just roast them but I have been experimenting with more ideas lately and this one popped into my head to try.
All I can say is WOW! Not only did the flavour work beautifully but because beets are so hearty this dish was so filling as a main course. It serves 3 servings for a main course and about 6 portions for side dishes.
Roasted Beet Risotto
250g (1/2 lb) beets, well scrubbed
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
180g (1 c.) Arborio rice
120mL (1/2 c.) dry white wine
710mL (3 c.) reduced-sodium vegetable stock, heated
250g (1/2 lb) Beets, well scrubbed
25g (1/4 c.) grated Parmesan cheese
Coarse salt and ground pepper
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
I have a risotto obsession and I am not afraid to admit it. I could eat this creamy rice dish every day of the week and thankfully my family loves it as well so they don’t mind all the experimenting with flavours I do. I just can’t seem to run out of flavour combinations for this tasty dish. And just when I think I found my favourite version I find a new one. So when I saw Becca, from Amuse Your Bouche‘s recipe for a Caramelised Carrot and Coriander Risotto I just had to try it. This slightly sweet and cheesy risotto is perfect as a meat-free dinner option for the whole family. Go check out Becca’s blog and her amazing vegetarian dishes. I hit a cooking block last week as I was struggling to come up with more meat-free ideas for our month challenge and I have been so inspired by her amazing dishes.
Caramelised Carrot and Coriander Risotto
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced (although I like mine sliced in risottos)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, finely grated
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
200g (1 c.) arborio rice
1 litre (4 c.) vegetable stock
50g (3/4 c.) cheddar cheese, grated
3 Tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
100g (3 oz) fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
Recipe from Amuse Your Bouche
It was only last year that I tried my first bite of a risotto and from that bite you could say that an obsession was born. I now make a risotto at least twice a month. That might not sound like a lot but because of this blog I very rarely make something twice in one month. I am not sure how many risotto recipes I can get away with on here and still have a variety of posts but I will sure try. It is such a versatile dish with endless food combinations that I just can’t help myself. I have loved each attempt but this one has so far won me over as the best because I used one of my favorite vegetables, butternut squash. Seeing as how spring is finally arriving I thought this was a perfect way to say goodbye to winter. Although after making it I realized how grateful I am that we live in a time where things like this are actually now available year round because I don’t think I could wait until next winter to try this again. Another thing I learned from making this; caramelized onions and butternut squash is a marriage of flavors that are just meant to be.
Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that an entire year has passed and a new one has just begun, where does the time go? I remember as a kid thinking that it always took forever to get to Christmas but these days I can’t believe how quickly the time goes. Just when I start getting use to writing 2011 all of a sudden I need to start writing 2012. It’s amazing how your perspective of time changes when you get older.
I hope that everyone had a fantastic Christmas and New Years. And I am sure everyone has eaten more food then one person should really consume in that short of a time frame. I know I feel like I put on 10 pounds this Christmas season. Lots of rich foods and tons of sugar delights. Not only did I probably eat too much in the last two weeks but I am also tired from all of the prep and cooking I did for so many large meals. So not only am I looking for lighter meals for the next few weeks, I am ready to find some easier meals to prepare. I still have some leftovers from the holiday season so my first step is to make sure that I use those up, wasting food is wasting money so I try to utilize each and every ingredient.
I ended up with rather a lot of leftover ham and I was inspired by a friend to try make a risotto. Risotto is one of those dishes that is very easy to make just a little time consuming because it does require you to stir constantly. But it has become a favorite of mine so I don’t mind the extra work. But seeing as how I am trying to keep to a lighter meal plan I decided to avoid the creams and cheeses that often goes into a risotto and focused on allowing the natural starches in the arborio rice to provide the creaminess while the leftover ham brought a salty richness to it. Although a small sprinkle of Parmesan on top I am sure isn’t too bad.
While this dish isn’t good for babies just weaning feel free to give it to a toddler to enjoy with you.