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Delicious Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Peas

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Emilie Pullar
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A delicious Spring risotto flavored with a silky pea purée, asparagus, fresh herbs and lemon. Customise to suit you with what vegetables you prefer or have on hand. A gorgeous side dish or vegetarian main.


For the pea puree:

2 cups frozen peas

1 cup packed fresh herbs, I used mint and Italian parsley

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup water

For the risotto

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 onion, finely diced

3 - 4 garlic cloves, finely diced

300 grams arborio rice

250ml white wine

6 cups stock, use vegetable or chicken

150 grams asparagus, chopped (see notes)

40 grams parmesan, finely grated

Lemon zest and extra parmesan to serve

Salt and pepper to taste


Make the pea puree:

  1. Drop the peas into a pot of boiling water for three minutes, reserve a 1/3 cup of the water before draining then run some cold water over them in the sieve or colander to stop them overcooking.
  2. Blitz the peas, water, herbs, lemon juice and salt together until smooth. I use a smoothie maker but you could use a stick blender or regular blender.
  3. An optional step (but recommended!) is to pass the mixture through a sieve with a spatula (see photos and video) to make it smoother.
  4. Set aside to add to risotto at the end.

Make the risotto:

  1. Get the stock to a very gentle simmer in a saucepan.
  2. In a large fry pan or shallow casserole dish melt the butter and 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat and gently cook the onion for 3 mins until softened. Don't let it catch on the bottom.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring until translucent and coated.
  5. Add the wine and let it absorb, stirring. You don't want a fierce boil or bubble ever, just a gentle simmer the whole time. Adjust heat if you need.
  6. Once the wine is mostly absorbed start adding a ladle of stock, one at a time, letting it absorb between each addition and stirring frequently (see notes above on the heat and stirring advice).
  7. From the first ladle set a timer for 15 minutes and that is when you add the asparagus pieces. It will cook for another 10 mins or so and that is enough time for asparagus to cook (I like it to retain crunch).
  8. Continue adding stock for another 10 mins or until the rice is cooked to your liking. It should still have a slight al dente bite to it.
  9. Add the grated parmesan and stir through.
  10. Add the pea puree and taste for seasoning, I would add a good few cracks of black pepper.
  11. Finish with a knob of butter if you wish then serve with lemon zest, some extra grated parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Asparagus - I like to chop it quite unevenly (see photo above in post), I just think it looks nice and makes eating more interesting. I also don't cook it first, I like it to have a crunch and I think it gets enough time cooking in the risotto. Substitute for broccoli or green beans if not in season.

Rice - Please read all the notes above on the types of rice and tips for cooking the perfect risotto.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Vegetarian
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian