One of the funniest books I have read discusses (of all things) the use and misuse of punctuation – Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss. The title of this post reminds me of that book. Not that this post has anything to do with punctuation, although I do try my best to use commas, semicolons, dashes and full stops appropriately.
The subject of this post is pea shoots. Pea shoots begin to appear around this time of year – those tender green tips of young pea plants. They are generally eaten raw in salads and have a mild pea flavor. I love their freshness, but often wondered what they would be like cooked.
The Duck comes in the form of stock made from a duck roasted in a clay pot that I made earlier following the instructions posted by Celia @ Fig Jam & Lime Cordial. This (highly recommended) method produces not only a succulent duck, but also two useful byproducts: duck fat and a rich stock that gelatinises when cooled.
Put the two together and you get a wonderful Spring risotto.
Spring Duck & Pea Shoot Risotto
This is based on a classic risotto primavera, but I’ve modified it to suit the Spring vegetables I had to hand and the rich duck stock I had in the freezer.
- 2 shallots
- 2 cups chopped oyster mushrooms
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 cups risotto rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 6 to 8 asparagus stalks
- 3 cups duck broth
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 cups pea shoots
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Chop shallots finely. Slice the oyster mushrooms into strips. I used young, baby oyster mushrooms rather than the tougher larger ones. Meanwhile, put the duck stock into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Sauté these in the olive oil in a wide pot on medium heat. When the shallots are softened and translucent, add the rice.
Stir to coat the rice with the oil, then add the wine. Stir and let the rice absorb most of the liquid. Add the asparagus which has been chopped into 1 inch segments. Adding a ladle (approximately 1/2 cup) of stock at a time, continue cooking, stirring occasionally and letting the rice absorb the stock.
When the stock has been completely used, the rice absorbing most of the liquid, test to see if the rice is cooked by biting into a grain. It should be firm, but not hard. Adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper. Throw in the chopped pea shoots and stir. They only need a little time to wilt them. Add the butter and once this melts, add the grated Parmesan cheese. Stir to allow the cheese to melt and then serve.