Lighter Spring Risotto Recipe

Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion or shallots
  • 1 cup thinly sliced asparagus (tough ends removed)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4-5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, warmed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (optional, adds richness)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, chives, or a mix)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Prep the broth: In a saucepan, warm the vegetable broth over low heat. Keep it warm throughout the cooking process.

2. Sauté the vegetables: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion (or shallots) and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the asparagus and cook for another minute or two until slightly tender.

3. Toast the rice: Add the Arborio rice to the pot and stir to coat it with the oil and butter. Cook for about 1 minute, until the rice becomes slightly translucent.

4. Deglaze with wine: Pour in the white wine and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is mostly absorbed.

5. Gradually add the broth: Add one ladleful of the warm broth to the rice. Stir constantly until the liquid is nearly absorbed. Repeat this process, adding one ladleful of broth at a time and stirring until absorbed before adding more.

6. Stir and cook: Continue adding broth and stirring for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is tender but still has a slight bite to it (al dente).

7. Finish and season: Stir in the peas, Parmesan cheese, mascarpone cheese (if using), fresh herbs, and lemon juice. Season to taste generously with salt and black pepper.

8. Serve: Immediately divide the risotto among bowls and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs, if desired.

Tips

Don’t overcook the rice: You want it al dente for the right texture.

Use a good quality Arborio rice: This is essential for a creamy risotto.

Adjust the vegetables: Swap the asparagus for other seasonal spring vegetables like leeks, zucchini, or fava beans.

Make it creamy: Add a splash of heavy cream at the end for extra richness and creaminess.

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