Green Pea and Mushroom Risotto with Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil


I’m generally of the mind that when it comes to cooking, form follows function. Substance over style. The bite is more important than the bark. You get the idea.

Sometimes, though, it’s fun to cook something that just looks awesome.

This dish gives your the opportunity to do just that. The sticky, adhesive risotto can be made into a variety of shapes using everyday kitchen items. Further, the bold flavors are mirrored by bold colors that make for great presentation options.

This recipe is delicious in its own right – blending together a number of classic Italian flavors – but it’s also a great opportunity to practice your plating skills or impress a special someone with a bit of dramatic flair.

Green Pea and Mushroom Risotto with Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil


  • 3 cups chicken stock, heated to near-boiling
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 ½ cups rice
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6-8 crimini mushrooms, cut into thin slices
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomato, finely diced
  • 6 basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons


  1.  In a large pot, heat the olive oil to medium and add the onion. Saute until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the rice, black pepper, garlic powder and salt and continue to cook until the rice is lightly toasted, between 4 and 6 minutes.
  2. 1/2 cup at a time, add the chicken stock to the rice, allowing it to almost completely cook off before adding the next. Be sure to stir regularly to prevent burning. After you have added 2 cups, add the great peas to the rice.
  3. While cooking the risotto, heat a separate pan to high. Once the pan is pipping hot, add the butter and allow it to just melt. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat. Sear on each side, about 3-4 minutes, and then remove from heat.
  4. Once the final round of chicken stock has been added to the risotto, remove it from heat and add the mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly to ensure the cheese is evenly distributed and melted.
  5. To serve, pack a small glass or cup full of risotto. Place it upside down over your serving place and tap serve times, gently but firmly. Carefully remove the glass so that the risotto remains in place. Top with a small mound of sun-dried tomatoes and a generous helping of basil ribbons.

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