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A perfectly delicious dish for spring, Risotto with English peas, is certainly an easy recipe to follow. But first, let’s examine why put English peas in your risotto, or in any culinary dish you cook.
Very Good Reasons for Peas
You can reap a ton of health benefits from English peas. What are they? Well, below are just some of them.
- Protein – helps repair and rebuild tissues
- Coumestrol – has anti-cancer properties as well as boosts immune system
- Fiber – helps lower cholesterol and regularize blood sugar, as well as aids digestion
- Lutein (Vitamin A) – protects the eyes and enhances vision
- Iron – enhances metabolism and boosts energy
- Zinc – good for the skin, brain, and has anti-cancer properties
- Potassium – enhances nerve, muscle, and kidney functions
- Vitamin K – enhances skin health and absorption of calcium
- Antioxidants – boosts immune system and has anti-cancer properties
- Anti-inflammatory properties – lowers risk of gout and other inflammatory diseases
- A host of B vitamins – lowers the risk of heart disease
So yes, when your parents tell you to eat all your peas, you better listen.
Interesting Factoids about Peas:
- English peas, contrary to the name, actually did not originate in England or anywhere near it. According to evidence collected by historians and archaeologists, this plant came from China or Egypt.
- These vegetables have been around, and part of the human diet for more than five thousand years.
- Peas became a staple food for many cultures during the Middle Ages.
- The scientific name for English peas is pisum sativum. The word pisum comes from the Greek word pison, which means “the pea,” while the word sativum is Latin adjective that means “cultivated.”
- English peas are botanically classified as fruits, since it develops from a flower and contain seeds.
- Fresh English peas grow in late spring and early summer.
- The biggest producer of peas is the Land of Maple, Canada.
- It may be a bit confusing but English peas are also known by these names:
- green peas
- sweet peas
- shell peas
- garden peas
Risotto with English Peas Recipe
Now, on to the good part… how to make risotto with English peas.
Risotto with English Peas Recipe
- Bring the peas to a boil in salted water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain, immerse in ice water, and then drain again. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and garlic. When the rice begins to sizzle, add the wine. Stirring constantly, wait for the liquid to almost completely evaporate.
- Start adding the stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Wait for the liquid to reduce between additions.
- Continue cooking and adding stock until the rice is al dente and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes (you may not need to use all of the stock).
- Mix in the peas, season with salt, and top with Parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately.
If you don’t care much for peas, perhaps you’d like risotto with delicious-smelling porcini mushrooms instead.