Spring Vegetable Risotto delivers everything you want in a risotto- creamy, buttery goodness, with your favorite fresh spring vegetables. It’s hearty enough to stand alone as a meal, or pairs well with a juicy steak.
Risotto has evolved for me over the years. I didn’t grow up with risotto, and quite frankly, probably didn’t know what risotto even was until my early teenage years. Let’s just say my life has never been the same since I was finally exposed to its creamy goodness.
This recipe is one of the first risottos that my family perfected, and the one I learned to make risotto with. I may even be so bold as to say that it’s won a risotto throw-down, but that could just be biased thinking. Yep, I said it: risotto throw-down. It’s exactly what you think it is, too. I’m proud to say that I come from the kind of extended family that gets together to compete over risotto dishes. Our throw-downs are complete with anonymous voting and a trophy prize, but most importantly, bragging rights.
This recipe is very simple, and a perfect one to start with if you’ve never attempted risotto before. I don’t know what all the hesitation is about surrounding risotto; there’s nothing to be intimidated by. Yes, risotto does require frequent, if not constant, stirring, but is that really not worth it for a delicious dish? I just look as that as an excellent reason for me to stand with a spoon in one hand and a wine glass in the other, without any other responsibility. Besides, did you know drinking wine while cooking risotto makes you a better risotto cook? It’s been proven time and time again at our risotto throw-downs.
Spring Vegetable Risotto starts with, what other than, fresh spring vegetables, including asparagus, yellow squash, and peas. I’ve added zucchini before, which makes it extra veggie-tastic. Like most risotto recipes, you begin with heating the broth in a sauce pan, while sautéing the onions and garlic in large stock pan (I use a 10 quart, which works perfectly for me).
Now the fun really begins. Add the Arborio rice to the onion and stir until the rice is coated with the onion, garlic, and oil goodness. Add a dash of red pepper flakes and wine, stirring until absorbed. You will continue to add 1/2 cup of the broth at a time, stirring frequently, and waiting until all liquid is absorbed before adding more each time.
After you’ve added approximately 4 cups of the the broth, add the cut up vegetables to the broth pot to cook for 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, you will continue to add broth 1/2 cup at a time to the rice until absorbed; adding until you’ve reached your desired creaminess. You will want to begin tasting the rice after it has absorbed 4 total cups of broth. Add the vegetables to the risotto. When the desired creaminess of the risotto is reached, add the butter and cheese. Stir until melted.
After all your hard work, take those freshly toned arms, pour yourself another glass of wine, and dig in. Garnish with parsley, and of course, more cheese.
Spring Risotto can stand alone as a meal, or be paired with some meat, if you’re craving a little more.
I’d love to hear about your risotto experiences, or if you have any risotto tips or tricks for the next throw-down.
Family, you’ve been warned, there’s a new contestant in town!
Spring Vegetable Risotto
- 1/4 cup olive oil1 cup yellow onion diced2 cloves of garlic, minced2 cups Arborio rice1/2 cup dry white wineDash of red pepper flakes6 cups vegetable or chicken broth1/2 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces1 medium yellow squash, quartered into bite-size pieces1 cup frozen peas1/2 cup butter1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese + more for garnishParsley, for garnish
- Simmer broth in a medium sauce pan, reduce heat and keep warm.In a 10-quart stock pan, heat the olive oil on medium to medium-high heat.Add the onions and garlic to the stock pan, cooking for approximately 3 minutes.Add the Arborio rice to onion mixture, stir to coat rice and cook for 1 minute.Add the dash of red pepper flakes and wine to the rice. Stir until liquid is absorbed.Add 1/2 cup of warm broth. Stir rice frequently until liquid is absorbed.Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time while continuously stirring until it is absorbed before adding another 1/2 cup of broth. Repeat this process until 4 cups of broth total has been absorbed into the rice.When you've added 4 cups of broth to the rice, place the vegetables in the saucepan with broth. Allow vegetables to cook for 3-5 minutes.Add the vegetables to the rice.Continue to add 1/2 cup of broth to the rice while continuously stirring, until desired creaminess is reached and tested risotto is firm, but not crunchy.When desired creaminess and texture are reached, and all remaining broth has been absorbed, turn off heat, and add the butter and parmesan cheese to rice. Stir until melted.Serve the risotto sprinkled with chopped parsley and cheese as desired.