Minty Feta Dressing Makes: About ½ cup
(This recipe works well with beef, pork, chicken, and veggies)
3 ounces feta cheese
¼ cup loosely packed mint leaves
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
Ground black pepper
In a food processor or blender combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper. Blend until thick and smooth, scrapping down the sides of bowl as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
Yogurt and Mint Dressing Makes: About ½ cup
(This is a delicious healthy salad dressing. Use this as a dip, or drizzle it on fresh veggies, such as cucumbers.)
½ cup yogurt
1 to 2 tsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Add additional lemon juice to thin, if you like. Serve with fresh greens or as a dip.
Green Pea, Mint, Bacon Risotto Serves: 4-6
4 cups broth diluted with 1 cup of water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 pieces thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 green onions, finely chopped
½ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups fresh or frozen shelled sweet peas/garden peas/English peas
2 Tbsp. butter or heavy cream
¾ cup freshly shredded Pecorino cheese, divided
1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped, divided
- Put the broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Keep it at a very low simmer.
- Meanwhile, heat another medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and bacon. Cook, stirring, until the pancetta starts to brown.
- Add the garlic and green onions. Cook, stirring, until they are soft, about 2 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir to completely coat it with the oil and bacon. Cook, stirring until the opaque rice grains turn a bit translucent around the edges.
- Add about a cup of the warm broth to the rice and cook, stirring as you like. Adjust the heat so that when you’re not stirring, the mixture simmers a bit but doesn’t boil or get too excited. When most of the broth is absorbed – when you can see the bottom of the pot for a few seconds when you stir because the mixture is thicker than the broth – add another 1/2 cup broth. Continue cooking, with some stirring, and adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time until the rice is almost tender to the bite, about 15 minutes.
- Add more broth and continue cooking and stirring and adding broth as needed until the rice is al dente – tender but with structure to each grain. Add the peas.
- Continue cooking, adding a bit more broth and stirring, until the peas are tender and warm, just two or three minutes. Stir in the butter or cream and about half of the cheese and taste – add salt if you want. Stir in half of the mint. Serve garnished with the remaining cheese, freshly ground black pepper, and remaining mint.