Risotto with Feta, Ham, Peas and Carrots

Warning – strong opinion to follow.  Read at your own risk.

It’s good to know that discrimination is alive and well in the ‘good old USA’.

Augusta National, home of the Masters golf tournament, doesn’t allow women to be members.

Normally that little bit of information would be snugly under the rug and everyone would politely look the other way if it was (rudely) mentioned.

This year it became a bit of an issue.

In a nutshell:

  • IBM is a sponsor of the Masters.
  • The CEO of IBM is, traditionally (as in the last 3, who were male), invited to become a member of Augusta National.
  • This year the CEO of IBM (who is female) was not invited – Augusta National does not allow women to be members.

The CEO, Virginia Rometty, attended the tournament but was not extended the invitation to join the boys club.

I find that amazing.

As a woman and a golfer that makes me want to jump up and down and scream.

Back in the beginning of time, when I started playing golf, most clubs were somewhat discriminatory…. In a patronizing sort of way:

There was a Ladies Day – usually Thursday morning with a Salad Lunch to end the fun.

There was a Men’s Day – usually Friday evening with a barbecue, beer and poker to end the fun.

That was unfair but sort of equal.

But…. Women weren’t allowed to play on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.

  • They said it was to give men, who worked, a chance to play.
  • I said women worked, too, so should have the same chance.
  • They said it was to give men, who were better golfers, a chance to play without poorer (read women) golfers on the course, slowing things down.
  • I said then make the limiti on handicap not gender: low handicap women could play but not high handicap men.
  • They said I best mind my own business.

I would estimate that, currently, there are very, very few golf clubs that still practice discrimination, Augusta National and St. Andrew’s (they are currently considering allowing women) being two of the more famous.

I spent the afternoon mowing the field, pondering this.

Men and women are physically different, with different abilities and different strengths.

There is men’s and women’s tennis, golf, basketball, etc.

I accept that. It’s discrimination, yes, but it’s based more on ability than gender or race.

And it’s the norm, but not the rule.  There have been women playing men in tennis tournaments and there have been women playing in men’s golf tournaments – not particularly successful efforts, I might add. (That whole physical ability thing)

If Augusta, or any golf club, wants to discriminate on the basis of ability I could accept that.  They could decide to only allow golfers with a handicap below 12 to be members. That would mean mon mari could join but I would have to improve my game a bit first.  (Not a lot, but a bit.)

What I don’t agree with, and cannot accept in this (supposedly) enlightened age, is discriminating against a group people based solely on gender or race…. or blue eyes or blonde hair.

It may seem unimportant…. a little old boys club in Georgia wanting to keep the girls out…

It’s what it represents that bothers me.

Hasn’t anyone read “The Handmaid’s Tale”?

Does anyone have leftover ham from Easter Dinner?

Ham Pea Risotto

Risotto with Feta, Ham, Peas and Carrots 

Total time: 30 minutes

     The peas give a hint of spring and a lovely bright color to this risotto.  The feta is the Greek-type: small cubes that come in glass jars, covered in oil.  Any feta will work.  It doesn’t melt like other cheese, adding a twist to the dish.


  • 2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 1/2 cup dry, white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 onion   other half for the condimenti
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
  • Condimenti
  • 6oz (175gr) deli or baked ham
  • 3/4 cup (4oz (120gr) frozen peas, (no sauce or butter)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3  – 1/2 cup (2 – 3oz, 75gr) feta cubes 

Risotto with Ham and Feta


  • Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. 
  • Finely chop onion.
  • In medium saucepan heat butter; add 1/2 of the onion and sauté until transparent then add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. 
  • Add white wine and stir. 
  • Start condimenti.
  • When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir.  (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) 
  • When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring.  Before you add the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice.  They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked.  If more stock is needed add it 1 tbs at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed.  At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it’s shape on a plate. 
  • Add the Parmesan and the condimenti, including the feta, stir well, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.  It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be quite stiff. 
  • The risottos that we have eaten in northern Italy have all been served in soup plates (flattish bowls) and eaten with a spoon – not a fork.
  • Condimenti
  • Chop onion. 
  • Peel carrot and cut into ‘pea’ size pieces. 
  • Cut ham into bite-size pieces. 
  • Heat oil in medium skillet.  
  • Add onion, carrot and sauté until tender, 6 – 8 minutes. 
  • Add ham and sauté 5 minutes longer. 
  • Add peas and 1/4 cup of the chicken stock for the risotto. 
  • Cover, reduce heat and simmer until peas are thawed and carrots cooked through.
  • Turn heat to low and keep warm until needed. 

For the record, Augusta admitted Blacks for the first time in 1990.

Last update on July 3, 2014

12 thoughts on “Risotto with Feta, Ham, Peas and Carrots”

  1. No ham. We had lamb and there’s none left-over. I hadn’t heard about the recent Augusta tournament. If I was CEO of IBM, that kind of behavior would make me want to pull my sponsorship.

  2. The 3rd risotto in a row while visiting blogs…. Is there a risotto fever? Is the Risotto day and I haven’t noticed? As I told Val and Ben, you will have me knocking on your door in no time with my palos de golf (if I had them) but just to say that I’m with you on this! Not fair at all.

  3. The Handmaid’s Tale is the single most frightening book I have ever read – a masterpiece. I, too, am sickened by the behavior of the “boy’s club” at Augusta. They have the right, but they are wrong.

  4. Jann, thanks – and I agree (obviously)
    Tanna, that book was haunting….
    Pam, love leftover ham.
    Meredith, apparently, she acted very professional and gracious about the whole thing – better than the club…
    manningroad, I’m just so amazed that it’s still like that.
    Nuria, must go and check out the rest of the risottos…. Love it! Come knock on my door anytime… 😉
    Zoomie, I agree… I’ve read it several times and it hasn’t lost its power. And I agree about the ole boys…

  5. Hi Katie
    Yes we too read about Augusta. I don’t play golf but find that whole No Women Allowed amazing in this day and age.
    But I’m glad it hasn’t upset you enough to stop you turning out yummy food yet again!

  6. Yup. It’s mind-boggling. I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again: WHAT are they afraid of?
    Also mind-boggling (but in a good way) is this risotto. I want some now. Maybe the neighbours have some left-over ham that I can steal.

  7. Jenn and Seth, I love playing with risotto!
    Gilli, it really is surprising, and for such a well-known organization, too.
    Elizabeth, it does make one wonder, doesn’t it?

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