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Blog and News

On the Menu: Broad Bean and Pea Spelt Risotto

8th July 2019

Historically, Parham’s four-acre Walled Garden has provided a wealth of food and cut flowers for the House. This tradition continues today, with freshly cut blooms for the stunning flower arrangements, and fruit and vegetables for the visitors who eat in Parham’s Big Kitchen. Over the season we will be sharing regular recipes from our in-house chef, Neil Rusbridger. You can find these delicious recipes featured on our seasonal menu in the Big Kitchen. We hope you enjoy making these dishes to enjoy for yourself.

Parham Broad Bean and Pea Spelt Risotto

A sumptuous vegetarian dish perfect for lunch, a picnic, supper or starter at a dinner to reflect the vibrant flavours of early summer.


300g fresh peas (lightly cooked) or use frozen
A dash of olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
250g spelt or pearl barley
1 litre vegetable stock
100 ml white wine
3 tbsp mascarpone or low-fat crème fraiche (optional)
50g parmesan (or similar vegetarian hard cheese), finely grated, plus extra to serve
200g cooked broad beans
3 knobs butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh herbs (a mixture of chervil, mint, chives and flatleaf parsley)
Pea shoots to garnish


Take 100g of the peas and place into a food processor with a little of the stock to make a puree. Season and add some chopped fresh mint, if you like. Keep warm and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large lidded saucepan, then add the onion and cook over a low heat for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.

Stir in the spelt and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously, to coat in the oil.

Add the white wine and simmer for 1 minute before adding about 1/3 of remaining stock.

It is important to stir frequently, over a low heat, to obtain an even cooking and to create the creaminess that make risottos so delicious. As the liquid is absorbed, then add more stock, and continue to cook for about 30 minutes, or until the spelt is tender.

Stir in the mascarpone or crème fraiche (if using), parmesan, butter, broad beans and peas and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir through the pea puree. Sprinkle over the herbs to serve and decorate with pea shoots.

Note. You can of course use normal risotto rice but reduce the cooking time to about 20-30 minutes.

See our full menu here.