Supper Sundays: spring vegetable risotto

A risotto that celebrates the arrival of spring with lots of fresh vegetables.

Spring is here… are you all super excited? I am not 😉 My favorite time of the year is winter, so March isn’t exactly my fave month… I mean, ski season is over and won’t be able to ski for another 8 months now. But there are a few things I’m happy about these days. The first one is that I get to start traveling again. So far I have trips to Rome , Florence , Porto, and Iceland lines up, but also have to plan my getaways to Montenegro and Greece. So that’s definitely something I’m excited about. Also, I’m happy about spring veggies – which are some of the best vegetables around. Asparagus for instance. And spring onions. Yum.

As soon as March 21st rolled around I noticed a shift at the local store. All those green veggies were looking at me, just beginning to be bought and cooked. I had a million ideas going through my mind at once. Savory pies. Pasta. Terrines. Soups. And then I decided. Risotto. I tend to consider risotto a winter dish because of its rich creaminess and comfort-food potential, but then again that’s just one of my crazy notions most people don’t understand or agree with. So why not make risotto with spring vegetables? I had never tried, but spring is all about rebirths, and god knows how much I need a rebirth right now. So here it goes. If you have never made risotto before, make sure you follow the directions very carefully and make sure you have 20 minutes to dedicate to the risotto, because you can’t just leave it there, cooking. Risotto is a needy dish, so give it your undivided attention —it’s definitely worth it.

Risotto Primavera: spring vegetables risotto

Risotto Primavera: spring vegetable risotto



Serves 4

11 ounces Arborio or Carnaroli rice (short grain)
a glass of dry white wine
1 spring onion, minced
a pot of piping hot good quality vegetable stock
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of butter
8 ounces asparagus, washed, trimmed and cut into bitesize pieces
2 spring onions, chopped
4 ounces baby green peas
1 package saffron
1/2 cup heavy cream
a dollop of butter salt and pepper

Prepare the veggies: melt a dollop of butter in a large skillet, add two chopped spring onions, let it saute for 30 seconds, then add asparagus, season with salt and pepper and let cook for 10 minutes, adding a little stock every now and then so that the vegetables don’t stick to the pan. Add peas and cook for another 10 minutes. In the meantime, mix cream with saffron. When the vegetables are cooked, add cream mixture, stir well and cook on high heat for a few seconds, then remove from stove, cover and keep warm. Prepare the risotto: in a cast iron dutch oven melt one tablespoon of butter, add minced spring onion and cook it until translucent, stirring constantly. Add rice. Let it toast on the bottom of the pan for a few seconds, then add wine and let it evaporate. Add a couple of ladles of stock, stir well and continue cooking it until stock has evaporated. Add one ladle of stock, stir and cook until evaporated. Repeat this step until rice is cooked (but not overcooked!), about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cheese and veggie mixture, stir well, cover and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Serve immediately.

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