Shelling peas is a kitchen ritual characteristic of spring. Peas in their pods remind me of neatly planted rows of seeds in the vegetable garden. Homemade risotto made with fresh green peas is my favorite dish. The simple combination of rice and peas is called “risi e bisi” in the Veneto. This risotto is especially well-known in the beautiful cities of Vicenza, Verona and Venice.
I await the arrival of fresh peas at the farmers market. When I see them arranged tidily in wooden crates, I snap a pod and taste the raw peas. If the peas are sweet, smooth and bright green, I take handfuls of them home to make risotto.