April 17, 2023

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Peas

Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish cooked slowly until it reaches a creamy consistency. Risotto is a great example of Italian talent turning the simplest of ingredients into a flavorful, decadent dish. It’s actually very simple to make risotto with just a few ingredients but most people think of it as a restaurant-style dish. The only thing to remember is that it does require frequent stirring, so you'll need to stay close to the stove for 25 minutes while it cooks. 

This spring risotto calls for seasonal vegetables but there’s plenty of room for creativity here. Don’t really like asparagus? Feel free to substitute in mushrooms, onions, or zucchini. If you're vegetarian, simple; just replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. Want to fancy it up a little? Stir in some fresh herbs at the finish. You really can’t go wrong as long as you stick to the basic risotto recipe.  Add in whatever you love! 

Serve this spring risotto as a meatless main course or as a side to a simply cooked main dish, like Pan- Seared Grouper or any roasted or grilled fish or seafood.  Roast Chicken is delicious alongside also!     This recipe serves 4 if served as the main feature or can feed 6-8 people, if served as a side. 

Ingredients

 6 cups stock
 1 cup frozen peas (or fresh, will have to cook a few minutes longer)
 ½ bunch asparagus, woody bottoms removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
 ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
 2 cups arborio rice
 1 cup dry white wine (room temp.)
 1 tbsp unsalted butter
 flaky sea salt and fresh ground pepper
 Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, grated (optional) 1/4-1/2 cup, to taste

Directions

1

First, heat the stock. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to a very low simmer and keep the stock warm on a nearby burner.

2

In a large Dutch oven, heat a TBSP of the oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add in the peas and cook for 1 minute more. Remove the vegetables to a bowl or plate. (You'll add them back to the risotto at the very end). Add in the remainder of the olive oil. Add in the rice and stir until the grains are coated with oil and translucent, stirring for about 3 minutes. Incorporate a ladleful of the simmering stock. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until completely absorbed. Add a small ladleful of the simmering stock again and cook, stirring frequently, until the stock is almost completely absorbed. Continue to add the stock in small increments, cooking and stirring the rice until the stock is nearly all absorbed. This will take about 20 minutes. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the chicken stock.

3

After about 20 minutes of cooking, taste test a small amount of risotto. When done, the rice grains will be almost tender to the bite but slightly firm at the center, and the risotto will look creamy. If it’s not quite done, continue cooking, adding more stock as needed.

4

Remove the risotto from the heat. Stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese (if using), and salt and pepper to taste. Add back in your asparagus and peas. Serve right away and enjoy!

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Peas

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Peas

Category, , DifficultyBeginnerYields4 Servings
Prep Time5 minsCook Time25 minsTotal Time30 mins

Ingredients

 6 cups stock
 1 cup frozen peas (or fresh, will have to cook a few minutes longer)
 ½ bunch asparagus, woody bottoms removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
 ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
 2 cups arborio rice
 1 cup dry white wine (room temp.)
 1 tbsp unsalted butter
 flaky sea salt and fresh ground pepper
 Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, grated (optional) 1/4-1/2 cup, to taste

Steps

1

First, heat the stock. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to a very low simmer and keep the stock warm on a nearby burner.

2

In a large Dutch oven, heat a TBSP of the oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add in the peas and cook for 1 minute more. Remove the vegetables to a bowl or plate. (You'll add them back to the risotto at the very end). Add in the remainder of the olive oil. Add in the rice and stir until the grains are coated with oil and translucent, stirring for about 3 minutes. Incorporate a ladleful of the simmering stock. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until completely absorbed. Add a small ladleful of the simmering stock again and cook, stirring frequently, until the stock is almost completely absorbed. Continue to add the stock in small increments, cooking and stirring the rice until the stock is nearly all absorbed. This will take about 20 minutes. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the chicken stock.

3

After about 20 minutes of cooking, taste test a small amount of risotto. When done, the rice grains will be almost tender to the bite but slightly firm at the center, and the risotto will look creamy. If it’s not quite done, continue cooking, adding more stock as needed.

4

Remove the risotto from the heat. Stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese (if using), and salt and pepper to taste. Add back in your asparagus and peas. Serve right away and enjoy!

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