Pea and Asparagus Risotto

pea and asparagus risotto on a gray plate.

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5 from 2 reviews

This Pea and Asparagus Risotto features asparagus and snap peas to celebrate fresh seasonal vegetables, and gets rich flavor from Parmesan cheese.


  • 1/2 cup mint Or parsley / basil combination
  • 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 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Puree the mint, garlic and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a food processor. Set aside for later use.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. When the rice is ready, turn the heat down to medium low, and stir in the veggies and mint (or other herb) puree. Then add the parmesan cheese and a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the cheese has been incorporated, 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!


  • You can use snap or snow peas for this recipe. If those aren’t available, frozen peas can be used.
  • Risotto should be watched and stirred regularly, but it is OK to step away from the risotto pan briefly!
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