Celebrate the new produce of the spring season with this recipe for Spring Risotto. I use fresh asparagus and peas and brighten up the flavours with lots of lemon and Parmesan. As a rule of thumb, I use a ratio of 1:3 when measuring the rice to stock and dilute the stock with some water so that it isn’t too flavourful once cooked.
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine (use a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 8 asparagus stalks, cut in 2 cm long pieces
- 1/2 cup fresh peas (frozen can be substituted)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Salt, to taste
- 1 cup microgreens (I used fava bean shoots)
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, for garnish (optional)
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)
Prepare the vegetables. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chopped asparagus and peas and cook for 4-5 minutes until they are bright green in colour. Once cooked, drain the pot and rinse the vegetables under cold water (this stops them from cooking and will preserve their green colour). Once cooled, place in a bowl and set aside to add to the risotto later.
In a small stockpot, combine the chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover and set aside while you are preparing the risotto.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions. Saute the onions for 2 minutes, or until the onions have become translucent, but not browned. We aren’t looking to get any colour on the onions here.
Once the onions are translucent and have softened, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil along with the rice. Stir the ingredients together so that the rice gets fully coated in the oil and onions. Cook for another minute or until you hear the rice begin to pop. Then, add the white wine to the pan and stir. Let most of the wine evaporate out of the pan before adding in the chicken stock.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add 1 to 2 ladles of chicken stock to the pan, stirring once in a while to cook the rice. Add additional ladles of stock to the pan once the stock has absorbed into the rice until you have used up the stock. The rice should cook for abut 18-22 minutes. You want the rice to still be “al dente” or slightly crunchy in the middle at the end of the cooking process and not mushy.
Once the rice has cooked for 18-22 minutes, add the vegetables, butter, lemon juice, Parmesan, garlic and black pepper. Taste the risotto to see if it needs additional salt or other ingredients. Stir together and place the risotto in a large serving bowl. Garnish with fresh microgreens, lemon zest and parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy!