Last Updated on
I am so ready for spring! Apparently, spring is not quite ready for us. We got a bit of snow on the first day of spring, and a bit more yesterday. Today, I am straddling the seasons with this Early Spring Risotto. I’m using asparagus and snow peas in this recipe, my favorite early spring vegetables. But it is still chilly here, and the creamy richness of the risotto is comforting, something we’ll need as we await our record setting snow to melt. Digging into this tasty dish can make you forget about the winter!
I do tend to think of risotto as a cold weather dish; stirring that risotto pot is a nice winter activity. But one of risotto’s great features is that it can be adapted to capture the flavors of the season. For instance, for a fall #SundaySupper, I shared Risotto with Butternut Squash, Chicken and Sage. So it was the perfect canvass on which to add some spring colors and flavors!
In addition to the asparagus and snow peas, I pureed some mint and garlic to use in the final stages of the risotto making. I’ve done a version of this risotto with a basil emulsion before, but somehow mint seems to say spring even more. But you could definitely substitute basil for the mint here.
The detailed instructions are in the recipe card, but a few quick risotto pointers if you haven’t made risotto or had much success with it. Many recipes say to cook the risotto for about 20 minutes, gradually ladling in the liquid. I find it takes closer to 40 minutes to get the risotto nice and tender. This isn’t a dish to be rushed! You don’t have to stir constantly, but don’t wander too far from the pot. Stir every few minutes with a good sturdy spoon. You can find recipes that will promise you faster risotto, but I’d gladly put mine up against those in a taste test.
Slow, gradual cooking is one key to great risotto. Another is awesome cheese! I use authentic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grating the amount needed for the dish from a nice chunk of cheese. This is the kind of parm that is tasty to nibble by itself, enjoying that rich nutty flavor.
Once the risotto is nice and tender, stir in the cheese, followed by the mint and veggies. Serve this right away, risotto is at its best right after its done cooking. Enjoy with a crisp Italian white wine, and let the warmth of the dish reming you of balmy spring days to come!Print
Early Spring Risotto
This Early Spring Risotto features asparagus and snow peas to celebrate the season, and gets rich flavor from Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 50 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1/2 cup mint
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 extra tbsps olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup sweet onions such as Vidalia, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 7 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bunch asparagus, rough ends trimmed, the remainder cut into pieces of about 2 inches
- 2 cups snap peas, ends trimmed, pods cut in half
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra to pass at table
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Puree the mint, garlic and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a food processor. Set aside for later use.
- Bring the broth to a gentle boil and then lower the heat to keep it warm, on burner handy to where you’ll be cooking the risotto.
- Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in sturdy pot for making the risotto. Add the onion and sauté in the olive oil on medium heat until it softens, about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the rice, and stir to get it all well coated with the onions and oil. Cook for about one minute, then stir in the wine. Stir frequently, and cook until the wine is pretty well absorbed.
- Once the wine has been absorbed, it’s time to begin gradually adding the stock to to pot. Add one cup of stock to the rice, and stir frequently. I keep it around medium heat, but go a bit higher if things seem to be going very slow, then lower the heat if it starts boiling.
- When the first cup of broth is absorbed, add another. This process continues until the stock is used or mostly used, and the rice is getting tender. You need to be stirring frequently (i.e. every couple of minutes). I find the rice takes about 40 minutes to get nice and tender.
- Steam the vegetables while keeping an eye on the risotto. The steaming time will vary based on the thickness of the asparagus, about 3 minutes of steaming ought to do for medium asparagus. When the veggies are done, drain and rinse with cold water to keep them from cooking more, then drain again and set aside to add to the risotto later.
- After about 40 minutes and all the liquid has been stirred into the risotto, test the risotto. It should be tender but still a bit firm, similar to al dente pasta. You can stir in a half cup of water if you need to soften it a bit more.
- When the rice is ready, turn the heat down to medium low, and stir in Parmigiano Reggiano and a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the cheese has been incorporated, stir in the veggies and mint puree. Cook on low for a minute or two so the cheese melts and the flavors are incorporated. Add a generous grind or two of pepper and stir in the lemon juice. Add a bit of salt to taste if you desire, but with the cheese you don’t need much if any additional salt. Enjoy!
Be sure to check out all the tasty creations from the #SundaySupper bloggers!
- Easter Egg Smoothie by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Home-made Limoncello by Manu’s Menu
- Meyer Lemon Rosemary Martini by The Redhead Baker
- Asparagus and Roasted Garlic Hummus by Palatable Pastime
- Baked Lemon and Goat Cheese Dip by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Cauliflower Salad by Wallflour Girl
- Green Asparagus Soup with Seared Scallops by An Appealing Plan
- Panzanella Primavera by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Salmon Berry and Almond Salad with Lemon Honey Dressing by Family Foodie
- Skillet Spinach Artichoke Dip by Life Tastes Good
- Asparagus Gribiche by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Early Peas with Pearl Onions in Cream by Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Mustard Vinaigrette by Food Done Light
- Sauteed Artichokes & Potatoes by Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen
- Spring Green Rice by Magnolia Days
- Artichoke Pesto Pasta by PancakeWarriors
- Crispy Honey Chicken Spring Salad by Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
- Early Spring Risotto by Cooking Chat
- Honey Lemon Shrimp by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Irish Lamb Stew by Food Lust People Love
- Perfect Scrambled Eggs with Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Chives by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Quiche Florentine by Curious Cuisiniere
- Roasted Lamb Chops, Fontina Cheese Polenta with Asparagus and Mushrooms by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Root Vegetable Risotto by Momma’s Meals
- Spring Lemon Pasta by MealDiva
- Spring Pea & Chèvre Souffle by FoodieTots
- Spring Vegetable Risotto by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Salmon and Strawberry Spinach Salad with a Kentucky Maple Vinaigrette by Dandelion Greens
- Tilapia with Classic Pesto by Whole Food | Real Families
- Veal Stew with Spring Greens by The Texan New Yorker
- Berry Shortcakes by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Blueberry Coconut Macaroons by Pies and Plots
- Blueberry Rhubarb Muffins by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Carrot Cake Cookies by Noshing With The Nolands
- Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Gluten Free Healthy Hummingbird Cake by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Lemon Cream Pie with Girl Scouts Lemonade Cookie Crust by Our Good Life
- Lemon Meringue Pie by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Low-Fat Strawberry Muffins by Small Wallet, Big Appetite
- Matcha Strawberry Cake by Brunch with Joy
- Palm Sunday Easter Bread by Love and Confections
- Pretzels, Peanut Butter, and Beer Cake Recipe by Recipe for Perfection
- Sticky Carrot Squares by What Smells So Good?
- Three Berry Coconut Crispies by Simply Healthy Family
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.