October 17, 2017

Deliciously Ella’s Pea, Zucchini & Coconut Risotto

Recipe: Ella Mills

Try this recipe for Pea, Zucchini & Coconut Risotto from Deliciously Ella’s new cookbook, Natural Feasts: 100+ Healthy, Plant-Based Recipes To Share And Enjoy With Friends And Family. 

This is an absolute dream. It’s so wonderfully creamy and flavorful, yet still light and refreshing. I cook the rice in coconut milk to give it a more traditional risotto texture, then stir in a creamy blend of puréed peas with lemon juice and olive oil to give the finished dish extra flavor and thickness.


For The Risotto

  • Olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 3⁄4 cups short-grain brown rice
  • One 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced into half-moons
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped

For The Creamy Pea Mixture

  • 1 1⁄2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1⁄3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Yield: Serves 4

  1. Put a big glug of olive oil in a large saucepan with a lid and set it over medium heat. Add the celery and salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the rice, coconut milk, 5 cups water, the vinegar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 50 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed. Check it every now and again and give it a stir. You may need to add slightly more water during cooking, as the water can be absorbed at different speeds depending on the shape of your pan and the heat under it.
  2. When the 50 minutes is up, uncover, stir in the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes. Throw in the peas, stir again, and cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, make the pea mixture. Place all the ingredients in a blender, season well and blend until smooth.
  4. Stir the creamy pea mixture into the risotto, sprinkle with the chopped mint and serve.

Excerpted from Natural Feasts by Ella Mills. Text copyright © 2017 by Ella Mills.  Photography copyright © 2016 by Clare Winfield. Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.