Risotto with peas and asparagus
Photo: Diane Cu and Todd Porter
Fresh peas and asparagus tips make this the perfect spring risotto. Adding fresh lump crab meat or grilled seafood at the end is a lovely way to complement the vegetables. Use the juice from a lemon to enliven the flavor even more.

Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 cup fresh peas, blanched for 2 minutes in boiling water (drain, rinse with cool water and set aside)
  • 1 cup asparagus tips, blanched for 2 minutes in boiling water (drain, rinse with cool water and set aside)
  • 6 1/2 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought organic, heated through
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • Zest from 1 lemon


Combine the chicken broth and saffron in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and keep warm over low heat.

Heat a stock pot over medium-high heat until warm (about 30 seconds). Add oil, butter, onions, and salt. Saute just until the onions turn translucent and are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes.

Add 2 cups of the warm broth and the white wine to cover the rice. Mix well. Bring to a gentle boil over low heat, boil gently until the liquid is almost gone.

Stir in 3 more cups of broth, stirring about every 3 minutes and simmer until the liquid is absorbed.

Add 1 1/2 cups more broth, 1/2 cup every 3 to 4 minutes, to keep the rice mixture creamy.

Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is cooked through but still a bit firm in the center, about 10 to 12 minutes. The last 10 minutes of cooking, stir in the asparagus, peas, Parmesan and lemon zest. Adjust the the seasoning.