Spinach & pea risotto

Photographer: Emma
Serves 6 – 8

There are very few things I buy from the great banks of freezers at the supermarket.  If I’m feeling particularly indulgent (and this is a rare occasion) I will surreptitiously sidle up to the ice-cream section, withdrawing the darkest chocolate variety I can find.  From the freezers a few rows down I will almost always take a box or two of frozen berries to brighten up breakfast time.  And from the freezers across the way I am sure to grab a bag of bright green baby peas.  You see I have a thing for this sweet wee vegetable at the moment, though why exactly I cannot say.  It could be their versatility, or the speed with which they transform from frozen to feast.  Whatever the reason I just can’t get enough of them.

This recipe is heavy on the peas (surprise surprise!) so as well as adding a beautiful sweetness to the risotto it also delivers a healthy dose of fibre, vitamins and minerals.  The marjoram, straight from our garden, gives the dish a floral character which is balanced nicely by the sharpness of the parmesan.


2 tbsp olive oil
100g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp marjoram, finely chopped
500g arborio rice
1 cup white wine
1.5 litres chicken stock, hot
500g peas
200g spinach
150g parmesan cheese, grated


1. Heat the oil and half the butter in a heavy bottomed frying pan and saute the onion and garlic over a medium heat until soft. Add 1 tbsp marjoram and cook for a minute. Add the rice and stir, making sure to coat each grain in the butter.
2. Add the wine and stir until absorbed. Then begin to add the stock, one ladle full at a time, stirring until absorbed. Repeat this processes until all the stock has been added.
3. Lastly, add the peas, spinach, parmesan and remaining butter to the risotto and stir through. If you like, reserve some of the parmesan and sprinkle over the risotto to serve.