Gloriously green, fresh and zesty, this beautiful spring risotto is bursting with tender asparagus, crunchy snow peas and sweet freshly shelled peas. With a bright aroma of lemon & finished with a shower of Parmesan cheese, this is the perfect lunch or dinner to celebrate the start of spring!
- 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 2 bunches fresh asparagus, woody ends trimmed/snapped off, stems chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup fresh snow peas, strings removed, chopped into bite sized pieces (about 100g)
- 1 cup fresh shelled peas (about 300g before shelling)
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice (210g), unwashed
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock, kept hot on the stove
- 2 tbsp. butter, chopped
- zest of one lemon
- juice of half a lemon
- grated Parmesan cheese to serve
- Place a deep pan onto medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 tbsp. olive oil, followed by the asparagus. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the snow peas, cook a further 1 minute. Add the shelled peas, cook a further one minute. The vegetables should be bright green and just barely starting to soften, still quite crisp. Season with a good pinch of salt, then transfer the par-cooked vegetables to a bowl & set aside till needed.
- Wipe the same pan clean with a paper towel, then return to medium-low heat. Add the remaining 2 tbsp. oil and the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, until onions are translucent and slightly yellow.
- Add the garlic, cook for a further one minute until fragrant.
- Add the rice & sauté for another minute, to lightly toast the grains and get them well coated in oil.
- Start adding the stock, 1-2 ladle-fuls at a time, stirring frequently between additions and waiting till the liquid is mostly absorbed before adding more. Make sure you scrape the base & sides of the pan well while stirring throughout, so as to prevent any rice from sticking and/or burning.
- Keep adding more stock until the rice is creamy and tender but still al-dente (think of how you would like pasta cooked). This process should take 20-25 minutes, and you might end up using anywhere between 4-8 cups of liquid. If you run out of stock, simply continue with hot water.
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and butter, & stir till dissolved. Add the cooked green vegetables to the pan & stir to distribute & warm through.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve immediately in bowls, topped with plenty of grated parmesan.
- Place the stock into a saucepan and keep it on the stove on the lowest heat throughout the whole process; you want the stock to stay hot, so that it doesn’t slow down the rice’s cooking process as you add it to your pan.
Prep time: 15 min.
Cook time: 30 min.