There's something about springtime that wakes my inner foodie. Perhaps it's the prospect of fresh local produce I find at the farmers' market, or maybe it's the rising temperatures that mean I can finally use the grill again. Whatever the reason, it's time to hit the cookbooks!
To date, one of my all-time favorite pagan cookbooks is "Cooking By The Seasons" by Karri Ann Allrich. My copy of this poor book has definitely been well used--the cover is food stained and creased, with dog ears and old ribbons marking my favorite recipes. Ms. Allrich organizes her recipes by seasonal festivities--starting with spring holidays Ostara and Beltane and cooking her way through the year.
Since today is a glorious spring day, with just a little bite of cold, and since the row of peas I planted earlier this year has been productive, I think I'll be making a variation of the Lemon Risotto with Baby Peas. The original recipe is great, but I like my little tweaks.
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups arborio rice, uncooked
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup white wine
5 cups stock (I like chicken, the original recipe called for vegetable)
1 cup baby peas, blanched
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and fresh pepper
parsley for garnish
In a large pot, bring stock to a simmer. In a separate, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onions and lemon zest until sweated. Add the uncooked arborio rice and stir about a minute. Add lemon juice and white wine and stir until the liquids are absorbed.
Add two cups of broth and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed. Add another cup of broth, stirring occasionally until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add broth one cup at a time until all the stock is used. Stir in peas and Parmisan, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the parsley and serve.
For your own copy of Cooking By The Seasons, by Karri Ann Allrich: