English Pea Brown Rice Risotto

Source: Foodwise Kids Program

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

This is a kid-friendly recipe that the whole family can prepare together! Created for CUESA’s Foodwise Kids program, it’s particularly well-suited for kids ages 6 to 12.

Risotto traditionally calls for a variety of rice called Arborio. However, we teach our students in Foodwise Kids about brown rice, which is a bit easier to find in stores and at our farmers market. This is our version of risotto featuring a highlight of spring: English Peas. You can substitute peas with other spring vegetables and herbs such as asparagus and tarragon or fava beans and mint. Young chefs will enjoy shelling peas (pop a few in your mouth and enjoy their sweetness!) as well as using using a grater for zest and cheese. Older chefs can practice chopping onions, herbs, and garlic with adult supervision.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4


1 large yellow onion
3 tablespoons green garlic
1 cup English peas, shelled
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to finish
6 cups stock or water
2 cups brown rice
1 lemon
¾ cup Parmesan or other hard, nutty cheese
A few sprigs parsley (1 tablespoon chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste


Cutting Board
Small bowl
Large pot
Measuring cups and spoons
Microplane or small grater


1.    Wash your hands with soap and water. Thoroughly rinse all vegetables and pat dry.

2.    Ask an adult for help to dice the onion and mince the green garlic. Shell the peas by using your hands to pry open the pod. Pinch one of the ends to start an opening, and then use your fingers to slowly open along the seam. Use your fingers to push out all the peas into a small bowl.

3.    Ask an adult for help to use the stove. In the large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until fragrant and the onions are translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.

4.    Add the stock and brown rice to the pot, and bring to a boil, which is when large bubbles frequently come to the surface.

5.    Reduce to a simmer (quiet, gentle bubbles), and continue to cook the rice until it is tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 20 to 30 minutes.

6.    While the rice is cooking, use a microplane to zest the lemon. Ask an adult for help if this is a new tool. You will need to rub the lemon on the microplane to remove the yellow zest. Do not remove the white layer underneath the yellow zest. It is bitter. Add the zest from the microplane to the small bowl with peas. Use the microplane to grate the cheese, and add to the bowl with the lemon zest.

7.    Pick off the leaves of parsley from the stems. Use your fingers to tear into small pieces, or ask an adult for help to use a knife to mince the leaves. Set aside.

8.    When the rice is tender, add the English peas, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese to the pot. Stir to combine. Turn off the heat. Taste and add salt, if needed.

9.    Top risotto with extra olive oil, black pepper, parsley, and serve.

Farmers Market Ingredients