Aquaponic Kitchen

Risotto With Peas and Chard

My first contribution as Aquaponics Intern: lunch!

They say you ought to begin with the end in mind, so it makes perfect sense to start off my time in the greenhouse at Mediamatic by preparing some of the delicious edibles we've been growing there. Looking for an easy, crowd-pleasing dish, I made a vegetarian risotto that included some purple snow peas and chard, while a colleague prepared some pesto from our fresh green and purple basil. This recipe made a solid lunch for about six people.

Ingredients:

500 g arborio rice
2L broth (I used vegetarian mushroom stock)
100 ml vegetable or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, minced
500 g cherry tomatoes, halved
300 g snow peas
200 g chard, chopped
300 ml white wine
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, dry cook the rice just until it begins to smell toasty. Then add the stock little by little, stirring until it is mostly absorbed, then add more liquid. Repeat this until the rice is completely cooked. In a separate pan, brown the garlic and shallots in the oil, then add the wine and other seasonings. Add the peas, tomatoes and chard to this mix when the rice is mostly cooked, then cover the pan. When the rice is fully cooked, add the vegetables to the risotto and stir well, letting the flavors blend. Add salt, pepper or lemon juice to taste. Serve with a dash of pesto, if desired.