April 21, 2014

Spring Vegetable Risotto

Spring Vegetable Risotto

Spring is here! Spring is here! The sun is shining, the grass is growing, things are green and pretty again! Spring is definitely my favorite season--it is just so wonderful after the cold gray winter.

It has been so wonderful to be able to get outside.  I actually ate dinner outside last week!  We've also been doing yard work (not my favorite), going for walks with Boomer, and .  Yesterday I sat on a picnic table in the sun, went for a walk in the woods, and enjoyed the spring sunshine.

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Peas

I meant to take a photo of the food at Grandma's for Easter yesterday, and I forgot.  I was a little distracted by the eating :)  And also fighting with my cousins, getting my hair braided, and hiding approximately one thousand Easter eggs.  But the FOOD--there are about 40 of us who all go to Grandma's for holidays, and thus there is lots of food.  And it is all delicious.  And I eat way too much.  And that is all.

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Leeks, Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Peas

Dustin went on a business trip last week, and I made one of my favorite foods that happens to not be one of Dustin's favorite foods.  This happened because I made risotto for Dustin a long time ago and let it sit too long before serving it.  Thus it got too tight and sticky, and Dustin will forever think that risotto is heavy.  Risotto is not sticky or heavy! It is delicious and creamy while having no cream in it.  But you do need to serve it right away--if it sits it will get sticky.

Spring Vegetable Risotto

Spring vegetable risotto was the culmination of me wanting allthevegetables while I was in the grocery store.  Leeks! Asparagus! Peas! Mushrooms!  Yesyesyes.  The leeks are fragrant and meltingly soft.  The mushrooms provide an earthy flavor and a meaty bite.  Peas are a bright pop, and asparagus is asparagus--the best spring vegetable ever.  And the Arborio rice combines everything together into a creamy and delicious risotto full of spring vegetables and spring flavors.

Spring Vegetable Risotto
author: Happy Food Happy Home
serves 4 large portions or 6 smaller portions

4 ounces baby portabella mushrooms
1 leek, white and light green parts only
½ pound asparagus
1 clove garlic
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ cup dry white wine
zest of ½ a lemon
½ cup peas
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chives
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Prep Vegetables
    1. Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces.  Blanch for 2-3 minutes until asparagus is crisp tender.   Remove to a large bowl.
    2. Wash and cut the mushrooms into bite size pieces.
    3. Cut leek in half length-wise, then slice.  Place leek in a colander and rinse to remove grit. 
    4. Mince garlic.
  2. Heat broth in a medium saucepan over medium low heat.  The broth should be warmed through.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a dutch oven or high sided skillet over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms are brown and just starting to release liquid. Remove from the pan to the bowl with the asparagus.
  4. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the olive oil to the pan.  Heat until the butter is melted.
  5. Add the leeks to the pan.  Cook until leeks are tender, 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and the rice to the pan.  Toast for approximately 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant and the rice smells toasted.
  7. Add the wine to deglaze the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any stuck on pieces off the bottom. Cook for about 30 seconds to allow the wine to evaporate. 
  8. Add 1 ladle of broth to the rice.  Stir and allow the broth to absorb into the rice.  When nearly all the broth has absorbed add another ladle full.
  9. Continue adding broth one ladle at a time.  As the rice cooks allow it to get sticky between each new ladle of broth; this will help the starches release from the rice.
  10. When you only have one or two ladles of broth left add the asparagus and mushrooms, the peas, and the lemon zest.  Stir everything together.  Add broth as needed.  Check the rice to make sure it is cooked through and check the seasonings.  Add salt and pepper to taste.   
  11. Add the parmesan cheese and the chives. Stir together.  If your risotto is too tight or sticky add a little more broth.  If it is too loose or wet allow to cook until it is the texture you desire.
Note:  This recipe can be made vegetarian by swapping the chicken broth with vegetable broth.  Replace the butter with all olive oil and leave out the parmesan cheese, and it's vegan.

Spring Vegetable Risotto

Your risotto is ready to eat!  I can eat a bowl of this as dinner, or add a poached egg on top, use as a side, or mix in some chicken.  Spring vegetable risotto is full of delicious spring vegetables and flavors.  It's like having spring in a bowl! And it's the perfect dish to finally celebrate the arrival of spring.  


  1. Oh my! this looks so yummy. Definitely bookmarking this recipe to try later on xx

  2. Thanks so much Valerie! I ate all of it so I can totally vouch for it being really delicious :)


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