Peas pop in the mouth to great delight in this low-maintenance spring vegetable risotto based on a recipe by a favourite Italian cook
‘Lord Leicester’, ‘Tall Telephone’, ‘Easy Peasy’, ‘Blue Bantam Dwarf’, ‘Mr Big’, ‘Kelvedon Wonder’, ‘Little Marvel’: all names of peas, and another reminder of how seed catalogues bring joy – especially if you don’t have a garden and idealise the day that you do. Italian catalogues also satisfy, with pea varieties including ‘Telephone Nain’, although they seem to have shorter descriptions and details. I don’t just want good names; I want to know the productivity and performance of ‘Mr Big’, if ‘Television’ needs sturdy supports, if ‘Little Marvel’ produces large amounts of peas crammed in tight pods.
The best catalogue of all to get lost in is the Real Seeds company’s, for their descriptions and tips, and their customer testimonials. This one in particular: “I just wanted to say how magnificent your ‘Champion of England’ peas are – they are going off like a rocket in my garden, so vigorous and healthy with their massive leaves, already up to 75cm, even here in Yorkshire. They are knocking the ‘Hurst Green Shaft’ into a cocked hat, and I wish I’d planted them on the allotment to impress everyone instead of in the garden where only I can see them!”