Pea and Dill Risotto

Pea and Dill Risottoedited
I thought I would make my first post of 2018 a vegetarian risotto, especially if you are looking to trim your calorie intake a little after Christmas.  Equally, this risotto would make a great accompaniment to a freshly grilled piece of salmon or trout. Dill can be a wonderful herb, but it must be fresh and used judiciously. Risotto is moreish but I have made this recipe slightly smaller to give you three, tasty, medium-sized portions.

Dill or ‘Dill Weed’ as it’s called in the US, is part of the celery family and is used in many cuisines so it is hard to say much about its origins. Though during my research I did find out that in the Middle Ages, people used dill to defend against witchcraft and enchantments, which is something to keep in mind with Valentine’s Day just a couple of weeks from now! Also, Russian cosmonauts say it makes a good antiflatulent when in the confined quarters of a spacecraft.

Update 2021: You can now watch me create this recipe on my YouTube channel.

Pea and Dill Risotto (2-3 portions) 

200 g Arborio rice
50g finely diced onion
150g Frozen petit pois -thawed)
750 ml Vegetable stock (made and chilled)
1 small clove garlic left whole
15g fresh Dill
4 Tbsp Virgin Olive oil
50g Unsalted butter
100ml white wine
75 g Parmesan Cheese grated or Gran Moravia Parmesan (Vegetarian )
1 small thinly sliced carrot
50g thinly sliced onion
75g Young Asparagus Tips washed and blanched (optional)
9  Sugar Snap Peas washed and blanched and stalk removed


1.) Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to 100grams of the petit pois, then add 6Tbsp of cold vegetable stock then puree, pass through a strainer and reserve.

2.) Lightly butter a small baking tray, then line it with baking paper*. Grate the parmesan and spread half of it out onto your tray, as thinly as possible but without holes.

3.) Bake the cheese in a preheated oven 160 C until bubbling and lightly brown. Remove the tray from the heat, allow to cool slightly then cut into triangular shards (parmesan crisps).

4.) Pour the remaining vegetable stock into a saucepan, add the carrot, sliced onion, garlic and bring to a gentle simmer, then turn off the heat once the vegetables are tender. This will give it a nice natural vegetable stock flavour.

5.) In a separate saucepan add the 50g butter, begin to melt on a medium heat and then add the finely diced onion.  Cook the onion until it is tender but without colour, stirring often.

6.) Now stir in the risotto rice and keep stirring to coat the rice with the butter for 1-2 minutes.

7.)  Add the white wine and stir the rice until the wine has evaporated then begin to ladle in the vegetable stock and turn the heat down low.

8.)Add more stock when the stock has been absorbed and continue to stir constantly.

9.) Once all the stock is into the risotto check to see how cooked it is and if it is al dente remove from the heat, the cooking process usually takes about 20-25 minutes.

10.) Finely chop the 15 grams of dill and fold into the pea puree.

To finish and serve
Keep the risotto on a very low heat and stir in the  optional asparagus tips. Next add the pea dill puree and the remaining grated parmesan, taste for seasoning and add salt and black pepper if needed. Gently spoon the risotto into a warm pasta bowl and decorate with the parmesan crisps & a few sugar snap peas. You can also use a small sprig of dill as I have done in the photograph.

Chef Tips:
When making you Parmesan crisps you should weigh down the parchment paper to stop it blowing around in a fan assisted oven.  I used a couple of old dinner knives to do the trick but just remember not to pick up the hot knives with your bare hands!

In UK supermarkets fresh cut Dill usually comes in 30gram packs which is helpful when trying to measure such a small amount as 15grams. It’s important to thoroughly check the quality of the dill before you buy; it should be green, not wet, fern-like and not limp. Dill is a wonderful herb when fresh and like stewed tea when it is not.

Parmesan Crisps
To get neatly shaped triangles, it’s important to work fast, because the cheese sets quickly. Transfer the baking paper straight onto a cutting board and use a sharp heavy knife to get clean edges, then gently peel off the baking paper and allow to cool.

Spring alternative
If you can not find young tender asparagus you could use pea shoots as an alternative. They have long been prominent in Asian cuisine, but they’re one of the newer ingredients showing up in British supermarkets and you may find them in the early spring more easily. Their soft leaves, curly-cue tendrils and watery stems hold the promise of spring peas to come. But even better than that, they hold the flavour of them, too.

Don’t forget to visit my other blogs
Easy & Cheap Student Recipes-A great resource if you are a student or just learning how to cook.
Old Blog Posts– A growing archive of posts from my original food blog, which had 20,922,573 page views from its beginning in February 2006 until December 2015.

Kevin Ashton Β© 2006-2018 All rights reserved. No content on this website including, but not limited to, text and photography may not be reproduced without prior explicit written consent.

Thanks for all the feedback and keep the questions coming πŸ™‚

Β©Kevin Ashton 2018


50 thoughts on “Pea and Dill Risotto

    1. Teagan, thanks for your feedback. A grilled chicken or turkey breast would also work well with this recipe.

      If I have vegetarian guests coming to dinner, I make a veggie risotto that everyone can have and of course offer meat or seafood for the omnivores.
      Best Wishes and please stay in touch πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

    1. That is a fair question Graham, but as my mother would say “A little of what you fancy does you good”. When people try to lose weight they often deny themselves a lot of the things they like; then when their diet ends they are left with a strong craving for those things and they end up putting back those shed pounds with interest! So I prefer the approach of smaller portions when I’m trying to lose weight but use ingredients your taste buds will thank you for.
      I love your paintings by the way!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Kevin. After an indulgent holiday followed by Christmas I am on a diet and you notice things like ingredients. But you are right about what happens at the end of dieting: you can end up like some yo-yo.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Being a chef and getting older I decided to get into regular exercise about 5 years ago. It took a while to show any progress, but eventually, the exercise speeded my metabolic rate so now I can eat what I want, plus the added bonus of getting rid stress. I’m always curious about the pluses and minuses of other professions/walks of life, so if you have a post on that subject, I would love to read it.
        Best Wishes

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Not sure about exercise and losing weight, Kevin. Having done a lifetime of sport I still put weight on – even training twice a day. In the end it came down to dieting. Though smaller portions are a good strategy.
    I think there are other advantages to exercise, some you mention. Exercise may work in the beginning but after fifty years of it, it becomes the baseline and other strategies are needed -well that’s my experience anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yum! Risotto. My son loves to make risotto but sadly he lives in London and I’m in Canada. Whenever he comes home for a visit he makes it for us. I think I need to try this. I’ve watched him enough to know that it isn’t that complicated but it needs constant attention. Thanks for following my blog. I look forward to reading more of your posts as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Than you for your kind words, I do hope you will give the recipe a try. If you have any questions please ask.

      I was just reading your About Section on your blog MaMa Cormier and found it fascinating reading, thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Petra for your kind words, they are very much appreciated. I do hope you will give the recipe a try and stay in touch. I too will be taking a look at Diario di Petra.
      Molte grazie
      Kevin πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment and question. I’m afraid I don’t know enough about the various vegan butter alternatives to make a recommendation. A recipe like this relies upon just a few mild flavours so the balance is key. I would really appreciate further comment from you after you have cooked a vegan version to help my other readers.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Resa, I myself eat vegetarian food once a week and that’s why you will find other vegetarian recipes scattered throughout this blog. Glad you liked my Pea and Dill risotto, the important thing is to start with a good quality vegetable stock. I usually roast 50% of my vegetables and leave the rest unroasted to give the stock a depth of flavour. I hope you will visit the blog again and try more of my vegetarian dishes.

      Best Wishes

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jacqui, and welcome to my blog. Please feel free to ask any question you may have about my recipes.

      I took a look at your blog and read your post about your dad and tried to leave a comment but not sure if it was saved?
      Best Wishes

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks so much Kevin for sharing your story on my post β™₯️
        I’ve been trying to make a good risotto for years. Looking through your posts, it looks like I’ve found the perfect place to learn.
        I’ll let you know when I try a receipe. xo

        Liked by 2 people

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