This Simple Creamy Prawn Pea and Lemon Risotto is full of fresh flavours and perfect for Spring or Summer. Recently however, prawn risotto has become one of our 'Lockdown Recipes' or 'Storecupboard Staples'. The prawns and peas can be bought frozen so kept in the freezer 'just in case'. If you don't have fresh lemons in a lockdown situation, you can substitute bottled lemon juice. Find more 'Lockdown Recipe' ideas here
Back to the recipe. Prawns and peas go very well together in a risotto as they both have a slight sweetness. The lemons contrast with this and give it a really fresh flavour. A risotto can sometimes be tricky to do when you've lots of distractions so in this recipe, there is minimal stirring. It still tastes great, but you get some breathing space. Of course, if you prefer, you can still add the stock gradually, stirring all the time. Some people find this quite soothing. Finally, it's important to let any risotto 'rest' for 2 - 5 minutes in the final stage. This helps the risotto to 'set' and the flavours to infuse a little, so don't be tempted to skip this bit.
People ask if you can use normal rice in a risotto. Using normal rice won't give you the same flavour or importantly texture. Your risotto will likely be quite mushy and not at all creamy. Risotto rice is called Arborio Rice. Arborio Rice has shorter grains and a slightly nutty flavour. It will also stay a bit firmer than other rice when cooked. This special risotto rice has a higher natural starch content than other rice. This means it likes to be stirred and it is the release of this starch that gives your risotto its nice creamy texture.
Buy prawns that carry the MSC Blue label to certify that they are from sustainable sources. Buying fish and shellfish from sustainable sources is important as it means that fish stocks are not overfished and remain healthy. It also means that fish has been caught in a way that is not damaging to the marine environment so that other species and habitats within the ecosystem remain healthy. For more information on what the MSC logo stands for, click here. I've also come across a Sustainable Prawn retailer that sells on line. Check out The Happy Prawn Company, ethically sourced and recommended by the MSC.
Storing Freezing and Reheating Risotto
A risotto is best eaten as soon as it is cooked. As it contains fish, you can store this prawn pea and lemon risotto in the fridge for just 1 -2 days. Make sure when you reheat it that it is piping hot. You may also need to add a little extra stock to loosen it. A risotto unfortunately doesn't freeze well as the texture of the rice goes hard and grainy.
Simple Creamy Prawn Pea and Lemon Risotto
- 20 g butter organic
- 1 onions organic, peeled and diced
- 400 g arborio rice organic
- 150 ml vermouth or white wine organic, fairtrade
- 400 g prawns MSC certified
- 200 g frozen peas organic
- 1 litre fish stock or vegetable stock
- 1 dash salt
- 1 dash black pepper organic, fairtrade, freshly ground
- 2 lemons organic, fairtrade, juice and zest of
- 40 g Parmesan cheese organic, grated
- 20 g fresh parsley organic, chopped
- Heat the butter in a large saucepan and when it is bubbling, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir it around so it is well coated in the butter. Fry for 2 minutes. Pour in the wine or vermouth and stir until it has all evaporated.
- Add the prawns and peas then pour in the stock and season with salt and black pepper. Give it all a gentle stir.
- Bring the pan to simmer then cover with a tight fitting lid and turn the heat down low. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes until the rice is softened, stirring occasionally.
- When the rice is cooked, stir in the lemon juice, half the zest and the parmesan. Let it rest for 2 - 5 minutes to allow it to go creamy.
- Serve with the parsley and lemon zest sprinkled over the top.