Monday, June 8, 2009

Green garlic risotto

This could have been called several things: garlic scape [Frenchie link] risotto, romaine risotto, green pea risotto.

Butter and olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 rashers pancetta, sliced thinly
1 head of new, green garlic, skin peeled off and each clove halved, longways
1/4 cup Arborio rice
1 bunch garlic scapes*, the heads snipped off and trimmed and kept; chop about 5 stems into small pieces
1/2 cup of green peas. Frozen are fine and often better.
About half a head of Romaine (or Boston lettuce), chopped
1 cup lamb stock in this case, leftovers from making stuffed vine leaves. But use a chicken stock cube...
Extra water
1/2 a lime
Parmesan, about quarter cup grated

In a saucepan melt butter with some olive oil. Add to it the shallot, pancetta and cloves of green garlic. Do not allow this to colour. Add the rice and stir to coat with fat. Toast a minute or so. Now add the warm stock in ladlesful at a time, stirring inbetween. After about ten minutes add the chopped lettuce and stir.

Once it has wilted add the scapes. Add more water as you need it, to be absorbed by the rice.

Add the juice from the lime, and the peas. Taste. The rice grains should be firm but not chalky in the middle...if they are underdone add a little more water and keep stirring. Then add the cheese and stir again. Some more butter would not hurt. Some pepper. Maybe no salt.

Eat, but immediately.

* if you live in a green garlic and scapeless society, grow your own: separate heads of garlic into cloves and peel off extra papery layers, leaving about one layer. Plant 2 inches deep in well drained soil where they will receive a minimum of 6 hours of sun per day. After about 5 weeks small green garlic bulbs, uncompartmentalized, will be ready to be pulled. It will take a little longer for the compartments and scapes to form: the latter are simply the flowering stems of the garlic, snipped before blooming.


  1. Some more butter never hurts. ;-) Especially when one lives, like me, in a green garlic and scape-less society. But then again, I live (for another very short while) in a cranberry field-full society... :-)

  2. nice recipe--i live in a garlic scapeFUL society but I think I will make this risotto AND try to grow my own scapes so thank you for this!

  3. Centvingt - I think we may live in a cranberryful society here, too...

    Good good bird - let me know how it goes!

  4. Did you really say "use a chicken stock cube..."?
    (I expect you will have to make this again soon ;-))

  5. Dinahmow. I did. I said it. Cube!Cube! Cube!

    There are cubes and there are cubes. It won't kill us to use the occasional cube.


Comments on posts older than 48 hours are moderated (for spam control) . Yours will be seen! Unless you are a troll. Serial trollers are banned.