Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tour Guide (Two Peas in a Pod Risotto)

What a fun day I had yesterday! 

Tucked off the beaten path on Franklin
Street; Caffe Driad is a perfect
spot to meet friends on Saturday 
Earlier in the week received an email from a SoCal colleague, telling me that a friend of hers – also from Orange County, CA and also in marketing – had moved to Chapel Hill, and asking if I’d help show her around.  Silly question – of course, I would!  So yesterday morning I met Bev Day, a delightful SoCal transplant, at CaffĂ© Driad; one of my favorite Chapel Hill coffee spots. 

Over cappuccino and pressed tea we chatted about the local area and our former homes.  Then off we went to the Carrboro Farmers Market to see what we could see.

The market was in full swing when we arrived. Things have really come into season over the past few weekends.  Our shopping bags filled as we continued to chat – fresh peas, greens, strawberries, leaks, onions and more.

After we left the market, I took Bev on a little tour of my end of town. What a fun day and what a nice new friend.  I look forward to future escapades as we continue to explore our new home. Who knows, maybe we will find the elusive amazing sushi restaurant we’ve both been hunting for!

Until then, it’s farmers market fare for Steve and me.  Tonight I’m making Two Peas in a Pod Rissotto – I hope you give it a try.

And welcome to what The Southern Part of Heaven, Bev.  It was great to meet you.

Two Peas in a Pod Risotto


  • 1 cup  Aborio rice
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • Tbs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs butter, divided in half
  • 1/3 cup fresh peas (or you could use thawed frozen ones)
  • ¼ cup sugar snap peas, cut on the diagonal into ¾ inch pieces; plus about a tablespoon or so more for garnish
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, plus a bit more for garnish
  • Salt and pepper


Prepare the stock
Heat chicken stock over medium heat until just boiling and then decrease heat to Low.

Prepare the risotto:
  • Over medium heat in a large sauce pan melt 1 T of the butter and all of the olive oil
  • SautĂ© onion until translucent
  • Add rice and stir until coated
  • Add wine and stir until absorbed
  • Add hot chicken stock mixture in ½ cup increments, stirring until absorbed and then adding more; it is ready to add more when a spoon dragged thru the mixture creates a “canyon.” 
  • After about 10 minutes add both types of peas and continue adding broth as above
  • After about 10 more minutes the rice will be tender, but still firm or “al dente.” (taste a few grains to check) At this point, add the rest of the stock and stir until it has almost absorbed it all.
  • Now, add the remaining Tbs of  butter, and the parmesan cheese.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:
  • Sprinkle with additional black pepper, parmesan cheese and some chopped up sugar snap peas for crunch.