Paula Recommends… Risotto with Scallions, Fresh Peas and Mint

This delicious dish combines wonderful fresh green bounty with a nourishing simple risotto …dotted with sweet peas, pleasantly pungent scallions and refreshing mint. Peas are rich in high-quality amino acids providing a surprising amount of plant-based protein. – Paula Meyer, Mission Training Center Nutritionist 

2 cups of blanched freshly shucked peas
8 cups warmed chicken broth
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup finely chopped shallots
1 bunch of scallions, light-colored portion of scallions finely chopped about 1 1⁄4 cup
Large pinch of sea salt
1 large clove garlic, grated
2 cups Aborio rice
1 cup white wine
Green portion of scallions finely chopped
3 Tablespoons chopped mint, plus whole mint leaves for garnish Freshly grated parmesan, to taste.

1. Heat salted water in a small pot and blanch peas. It takes about 1 -2 minutes and they will float to the top. Drain and submerge peas in ice water and set aside.
2. Warm chicken broth in small saucepan.
3. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom pan over medium high heat. Add shallots, light- colored portion of spring onions and a large pinch of sea salt. Saute until alliums are translucent, about 4 minutes. Don’t allow them to brown, lower the heat if necessary.
4. Add grated garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds then add rice and sauté for another 4 minutes. Again, avoid browning.
5. Add white wine and allow to cook off and absorb into rice. Using a ladle, add broth one ladle at a time until absorbed. No need to constantly stir, but it is a good idea to keep an eye on it and stir frequently.
6. While rice is cooking , take 1 cup of peas and blend in blender with a few ladles of warmed chicken broth. Set aside, and when you have finished all of the broth in your sauce pan add the green pea broth and allow the rice to absorb it. It takes about 40 minutes for the rice to absorb the liquid.
7. At the 40 minute mark, check the rice for doneness, it shouldbe creamy and slightly al dente. Also add salt to taste at this time. If you are using homemade broth, it will likely need more salt than store bought broth.
8. Stir in chilled blanched peas, chopped scallions and mint.
9. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and mint leaves. Serve immediately.

Nutritional info: Calories 320; Fat 8g; Sat Fat 1.8g; Carbs 46; Protein 9g; Fiber 2.7; Sodium 196g