|Spring Pea Risotto with Poached Egg and Basil|
Summertime is blissful: long lazy nights, dips in the ocean, guilt-free monstrous consumption of Blue Bell ice cream, air conditioning. But don't tell summer, fall's my favorite season: cooler temperatures that make walks outside bearable, hearty food, cinnamon in my coffee, that scent in the air, curling up with a wee cuppa. Before that autumnal elation begins, I thought I'd have one last hurrah to summer with this risotto. I adore risotto (and once butternut squash starts appearing, you'll have my favorite risotto recipe). Risotto tends to intimidate folks, but it's really not difficult. And there's something cathartic about the process of making it, stirring it gently until it turns creamy and tossing in whatever strikes your fancy.
You can't make risotto with any old rice: you'll need Arborio rice. You can find it in any grocery store. It's Italian short-grained rice (because short things are wonderful). Something about that growth-challenged grain becomes creamy and decadent when stirred with warm chicken stock. You'll love it. I used one cup of arborio rice: it makes four servings.
After cooking the onions and garlic for a few minutes, add the rice and cook on medium-low for a few minutes until the rice turns translucent. At this point you can add 1/3 cup of white wine and let it reduce for a couple of minutes. All I had was red wine, and though it would taste good, I didn't fancy pink risotto so I didn't add any.
I added fresh basil,
frozen petite garden peas (note that taking a picture while pouring in peas leads to a proliferous pea situation, which I don't mind),
...and place it in the boiling water by quickly turning the cup measure over with a flick of your wrist. The quick motion of the egg hitting the water will help the whites envelop the yolk and the vinegar (which you won't taste) will keep it from falling apart. For a soft-poached egg, cook for 4 minutes.