Lemon Risotto with Pea and Rocket Purée

, from Issue #86. October, 2019
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Lemon Risotto with Pea and Rocket Purée

A great one-dish meal of lemon-infused rice marbled with a peppery rocket and pea purée and tangy crème fraîche. We added a soft poached egg for even more lusciousness. 


Serves: 4


Pea purée 
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups packed rocket, 
roughly chopped, 
plus extra for serving 
3 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and ground pepper
5-6 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, white and 
pale green stem thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
pinch sea salt
2 cups risotto rice (e.g. arborio or vialone nano)
1 cup white wine
finely grated zest 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus extra for serving
sea salt and ground pepper
To serve
½ cup crème fraîche 
4 poached eggs (optional)
crusty bread (optional)



Pea purée: Bring the peas to the boil in a saucepan of salted water.

Drain and immediately place in a food processor with the rocket and olive oil and season generously. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides. Set aside.

Risotto: Put the stock in a saucepan, heat and keep warm.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the leek, garlic and 
bay leaf with a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook until the leeks are soft but not coloured.

Stir in the rice and cook for another minute until the rice is warm. Add the wine and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Begin adding the stock a ladle at a time, stirring and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next quantity. When the risotto is tender to the bite and has a creamy consistency (this should take about 20 minutes), stir in the lemon zest and juice and the parmesan. Season to taste.

To serve: Place the risotto in warm shallow plates and swirl through the pea purée and spoonfuls of crème fraîche. Top with poached eggs, if using, then extra rocket and a grating of parmesan. Serve immediately with crusty bread, if desired.

Cook's note: Arborio rice is a fat, short-grain Italian rice that is high in starch, essential for a creamy risotto. It is available from supermarkets and speciality food stores.  

Wine match: Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionnelle NV Brut