John Whaite's in the kitchen putting a twist on a classic dish with his pea risotto and minty feta.
1 litre good-quality vegetable stock
300g frozen peas
3 strips lemon zest (use a potato peeler to remove the strips, scrape off any white pith with a knife)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
6 spring onions, chopped
400g pearl barley, rinsed and drained
Juice of 1 lemon
1tbsp crème fraiche
Small handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
For the feta topping
200g feta cheese
Remaining lemon zest
10 mint leaves
50ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Put the vegetable stock, half of the peas, the strips of zest and the crushed garlic cloves into a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes then allow to cool. Once cooled, blitz in a blender to a smooth liquid.
In a large, shallow casserole, heat a generous amount of olive oil over a medium\-high heat, and once hot add the spring onions with a pinch of salt. Fry, stirring occasionally, for 3\-4 minutes, then add the pearl barley, the pea stock mixture lemon juice, and whole peas. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 40\-45 minutes, topping up with water if it starts to look dry.
Chop the feta cheese into small chunks and add the zest, mint leaves and olive oil with a pinch of pepper. Leave to marinate while the risotto cooks.
Once the pearl barley is tender, it is ready. Stir in the crème fraiche and chopped parsley. Serve topped with the minty feta cheese.