Tag Archives: mint

Sugar Snap Pea & Mint Risotto

The long-awaited summer has arrived (granted it could go away by next week, because this is the Pacific Northwest).  Ben says Memorial Day is the official unofficial start of summer (in theory), while the reality of high temps, constant summer & glorious outdoor water play dates begin after Fourth of July.  Our plans for the day include: sunscreen bodies, water, smoothies & bare feet.  I don’t want to be doing much when it comes to cooking over the stove top, so please forgive me for this recipe on a week like this, which cries for salads, quick sandwiches, and anything cool.

But, I made this while the weather was partly sunny and I had a plethora of some of the best sugar snap peas I’ve tasted.  We have this little garden/farm, Joe’s Garden, which is quintessential Bellingham.  Bouquets of sweet peas in early summer, lettuce heads the size of three grocery store kind ($1.25) and a cornucopia of bounty come August (eggplant, tomatoes, summer squash, basil, potatoes, peaches, etc).  The sugar snap peas had just been picked and we brought home a bag.  They were crunchy & sweet.  A week later they was still some left in my fridge and they had not lost their crunch–amazing.  If you live in Bellingham and you’ve never been–you must go.  If you’re coming from out-of-town, do yourself a favor and stop by.

I had to use these snap peas along with the abundance of mint we have to make a risotto.  My friend Lindsey puts little ideas in regards to food of what I should make and then I set to the task.  We had a similar risotto using sugar snap peas, but it used a basil cream.  I really felt the addition of mint would be more refreshing, and it didn’t fail me.  Take advantage of the small season of sugar snap peas by eating a couple on the way home and making this risotto.

Sugar Snap Pea & Mint Risotto (printable recipe)

1 vidialia onion with greens, chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 Tb olive oil
1 Tb unsalted butter

2 cups arborio rice, risotto
1/2 cup dry white wine
5-6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 – 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
kosher salt to taste

3/4 -1 cup sugar snap peas, cut into thirds
1 -2 Tb freshly chopped mint

Directions: Put vegetable broth in a small pot & heat.  You will want it to be warm when you add it to the rice for later.  Put a lid on the pot to keep it warm.

In a large pan, heat oil & butter on medium heat.  Add onions & garlic, saute till fragrant and onions softened, about 4 minutes.  Add a pinch of salt & mix.  Add the arborio rice and stir to coat.  Cook for about 30 seconds while stirring.  Add the white wine and stir.  Once the rice has absorbed the wine, add one cup of vegetable broth.  Stir and allow the rice to soak up the broth.  Continue adding one cup at a time and allowing the rice to soak it up.  This will take about 25 minutes.  When you have about 1 -2 cups left of broth, add the sugar snap peas.

Taste throughout to see how much salt you need.  The rice should be a little al dente.  Remove from heat and add freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano & stir.  Add the chopped mint.  Taste & see if you need more salt.  Serve straight from the stove.  Garnish with more Parmesan & mint.


Feta-Mint Corn on the Cob

IMG_3250I forgot to take a picture until after it was already packaged up.

As an Arizonian native, summertime rings a different tune than the one Washingtonians hear. We hear temperatures in the 100 degree range, skin melting off when you run across the blacktop, air conditioner is a way of life and the life of a vampire sounds appealing (not the blood sucking part, just the coming out after dark).

However, there are certain tunes that ring true whether in Washington or Arizona during the summertime. Swimming, even if the temperature of a pool in AZ is in the mid 80s come noon. Watermelon, it is one of those refreshing, cool, crisp fruits that make a summer evening complete. And corn on the cob. It’s a summertime icon as far as I’m concerned. I prefer the traditional “cook it in a big pot of boiling water” method over grilling any day of the week. And keep it simple by smothering butter over the kernels & sprinkling salt on top. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
Then, there is the way in which one eats it. I never thought much about it before I married Ben and observed how he ate his corn on the cob. It’s borderline blasphemy. I will eat it right to the core–leaving no trace of a kernel in sight. I’m the same way with oranges (eat it to the pith) and melons (to the rind). So the first time we were eating corn on the cob after being married I noticed that he still had chunks of kernels left on. I couldn’t bear it and then did what any self-respecting wife would do…I ate the rest of his corn on the cob.
I know I’ve lost some of you about now, because you’re probably thoroughly disgusted that I ate and sucked off the rest of my husband’s chewed on cob; but, all I have to say is I was preparing myself for motherhood (not for the faint of stomach).

Well, back to the point of the Feta-Mint Corn on the Cob. While we were at the cabin last week I came across this recipe in my Gourmet magazine and thought it would be nice to branch outside of the typical butter & salt. Plus, I had this wonderful feta cheese from the Farmer’s Market and some fresh mint from my house. And I must say it was wonderful!

IMG_3246

Corn on the Cob with Mint-Feta Butter (printable recipe)

Recipe from Gourmet Magazine. When you make it (as I know you will), there is no way around getting messy. So, fully embrace it and make sure you go to the bottom of the bowl with your cob and scoop out the buttery, salty cheese goodness with complete abandon.

Ingredients:

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
7 oz feta, finely crumbled (1 1/2 cups) **I had a bit less and it was fine
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
8 large ears of corn, shucked, each cob cut crosswise into 4 pieces

Directions: Stir together butter, feta, mint, and a rounded 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl.
Cook corn in a large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer with tongs to butter mixture and toss until well coated.
**Mint-feta butter can be made 2 days ahead and chilled.