Risotto with Snow Peas & Green Garlic; the rock garden

My mother grew up on a farm.

Vegetables in summer were whatever was picked in the garden. Vegetables in winter were whatever had been ‘put-up’ during the summer or was in the root cellar.

When I was young we lived in town. My mother had a flower garden and vegetables were bought at the supermarket. We had a mixture of fresh and canned…. Never frozen. (Limited freezer space was reserved for important things like popsicles and ice cream.)

One of the staple canned vegetables was ‘Peas & Carrots’. It obviously made an impression because whenever I add snow peas to a risotto or stir-fry I have a compulsion to add carrots as well.

As to the green garlic – it just makes everything better.

If your sausage is very fatty you may need to drain it before adding to the risotto. Mine never is. I have to add oil to both sausage and ground beef in order to sauté it.

Risotto with Snow Peas & Green Garlic

Total time: 30 minutes

  • 2/3 cup (4.2oz, 125gr) Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) dry, white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups (18oz, 540ml) chicken stock
  • 1 onion, chopped, divided
  • 4 green garlic, trimmed, sliced, including green tops
  • 6oz (180gr) Italian sausages, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, quartered lengthwise, sliced thinly
  • 4oz (120gr) snow peas, trimmed, cut into thirds
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated  (about 2oz, 60gr)


  • Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.
  • In medium saucepan heat butter over medium heat. Add 1/2 onion and sauté until transparent.
  • Add rice and sauté stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center.
  • Add white wine and stir.
  • Start condimenti (see below).
  • When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir.
  • When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring.
  • Before 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 1/6 cup 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 its shape on a plate.
  • Stir in the Parmesan and condimenti, spoon into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.  It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be very stiff.
  • Condimenti: Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining onion, carrot and sauté 5 minutes.
  • Add sausage and sauté until almost cooked through, 5 – 6 minutes longer.
  • Add green garlic, snow peas and sauté until sausage is done and carrots tender, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and keep warm until needed.

Print Recipe

I have a rock garden.

This is the crop of rocks I picked last weekend:

Every year, after mon mari is finished tilling the potager and I start hoeing, I also start picking rocks.

After 8 years one would think I would have picked all the rocks out of the potager.

One would be wrong.

To be honest, they aren’t really all rocks. It’s mostly broken roof tiles and large chunks of concrete.

See this strip that is showing through the grass near my potager?

It appears to be part of a concrete foundation that is working its way to the surface. Apparently there was a building here at one time. Why or how or when it was torn down / buried / whatever we have no idea. We just deal with more bits every year.

My parents built their house and garden on virgin prairie land in Wisconsin.

We have no idea how many layers of civilization are under our feet here…. They just keep working their way to the top. Maybe, someday I’ll get lucky and find a cache of Roman coins.

Somehow, through it all, seeds do manage to take root and grow. I was weeding our cow trough (that we plant flowers in) last fall. I pulled up a rather tall weed and it was attached to a walnut.

We stuck it in the ground and put a fence around it to protect it from the dogs.

It survived the winter and here is our newest walnut tree – almost 6 inches tall!

It’s the little things, right?

Last update on April 12, 2017

3 thoughts on “Risotto with Snow Peas & Green Garlic; the rock garden”

  1. We had a walnut sprout in one of our herb planters one spring. I tried transplanting it to a more suitable location. Alas, it didn’t survive. Clearly, the squirrels that had chosen the original location knew better than I. (I still wonder what would have happened if I’d left the sprig alone and allowed it to grow in the planter.)

    Love the look of that risotto!!

  2. kate, we hope. If it survived winter and dogs it should live.

    Elizabeth, I’ve moved this one twice – once from the planter to a pot, then from the pot to the ground. So far so good. Risotto = good!

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