Spring Green Risotto

I needed a side dish for my salmon in foil, so I immediately thought starch and vegetables, and this fits my needs perfectly because this risotto recipe is two sides in one. I came up with this by combining two risotto recipes that I found on FoodNetwork.com. I liked that Ellie Krieger used asparagus, peas and spinach and far less ingredients than Ina Garten’s; but I like that Ina uses butter, lemon zest, and more parmesan. I think I came up with a good mix of healthy with a little added richness by using more cheese, a little butter and brightness from the lemon.

This is definitely more fussy than the average rice recipe – but it’s not at all difficult to manage. Mine probably took more than 30 minutes, but it turned out great. Obviously, I left out the peas and spinach because once the asparagus was added, there was no room in my pan for anything extra. The lemon zest is a must to brighten up the flavor of the risotto or it would be a one note dish. I was tasting it before adding the zest and I was a disappointed because it was a little bland. The lemon woke up the flavors – even M noticed something different. He did like it though, which is always appreciated since he can be really picky and hard to please at times;) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Spring Green Risotto – a mix of these two recipes

  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cups white wine
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound thin asparagus, steamed and cut into 3/4″ pieces
  • 10 ounces frozen peas (not enough room in the pan…maybe next time)
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1-3 cups baby spinach (oops!)

Directions –

Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy saucepan over moderately low heat and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine
and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of the hot broth, the salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper and simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth, about 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the broth to be absorbed before adding more, until rice is almost tender and creamy-looking, about 18 minutes.

Add the spinach and peas and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the asparagus and cook just until the vegetables are hot. Stir in the Parmesan, lemon zest and more broth if the risotto seems too thick.

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