Risotto with Peas and Spring Onions
For some reason I only think to make risotto in the spring/summer months. I think it’s because I like spring vegetables with the rice and Parmigiano cheese. Stay tuned during the next few weeks for more risotto recipes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Serves: 4 (easily doubled)
1 cup short grained rice such as Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ cup dry white wine
5-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (homemade if you have it!)
3-4 spring onions (or scallions), thinly sliced
1 ½ cups frozen petite peas, cooked in the microwave
Fresh basil for garnish, optional
1 lemon, zest and a squeeze of juice (optional)
Salt to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, freshly grated, to taste
Put the 6 cups of broth in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring up to a low simmer, then turn the heat to low just to keep the broth hot.
While the broth is heating, finely dice your onion and mince your 2 garlic cloves. Thinly slice your spring onions or scallions.
Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter in 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large deep sided skillet over medium heat. I like a pan with a wide bottom to help heat the rice. Even though you are using 1 cup of rice, it will expand a lot. Add the diced onion and minced garlic and salt to taste and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the sliced spring onions and the 1 teaspoon dried basil and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
Once the onion is soft, add in 1 cup of short grained rice to the pot and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook for a couple minutes, still stirring to toast the rice. It should start to smell a bit nutty. Now add in the ¼ cup of wine if using and stir until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. If you are not using wine go to the next step.
Now you start adding the hot broth, 1 ladle full at a time, and stir continuously. I like using a wooden spoon to stir. Once the rice has absorbed most of the broth, add another ladle. Continue in this manner until the rice is fully cooked, but still a bit al dente (has a slightly chewy bite to it). The rice will absorb the liquid quickly at first and more slowly toward the end of cooking.
You should be cooking over about medium heat, but may need to adjust a bit, especially toward the end of cooking.
As the rice gets closer to done, start tasting and add more salt if needed. Cook the petite peas in the microwave at this time, about 2-3 minutes on high for 1 ½ cups frozen peas. You may not use all of your broth by the time the rice is fully cooked. If you use all of your broth and you still need to cook your rice longer (not usually the case) you may add water.
At the very end add in the zest from 1 lemon and the juice from half to the lemon. Add in the peas and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste.
Serve and eat immediately, with additional Parmigiano at the table. I like to serve a salad or other vegetable on the side to complete the meal.