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Risotto Verde (Pea and Asparagus Risotto)

Green risotto served in a blue and white bowl with parmesan and lemon zest on top.
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Creamy and decadent but equally healthy and nutritious – this Risotto Verde is a perfect vegetarian main or an appetizer to celebrate nature coming alive in spring! Packed full of green vegetables, this pea and asparagus risotto is vibrant in colour and bursting with flavours of spring greens.

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Ingredients and Substitutes

  • brown onion: can be substituted with white onions or shallots.
  • garlic clove: if you wish you can use garlic paste, but only add it after your onions have softened, otherwise it will burn.
  • risotto rice: Arborio or Carnaroli work best, in our opinion.
  • dry white wine: we like to use Italian wines in risottos for a more authentic recipe experience. Try Pinot Grigio or Pecorino.
  • vegetable stock: high-quality vegetable stock goes a long way in risottos.
Ingredients for risotto verde on a large wooden chopping board.
  • spinach: fresh spinach will create the most vibrant colour for your green risotto, but you can also use defrosted spinach (drain any excess moisture first in order not to dilute the creamy risotto).
  • peas: frozen or fresh peas will work great.
  • asparagus tips: you may use whole asparagus, but make sure to remove the woody hard ends. Also, note that thicker pieces of asparagus will take a lot longer to cook.
  • parmesan: substitute with pecorino or Grana Padano.
  • double cream: also known as heavy cream.
  • lemon: choose the freshest unwaxed lemons.

How To Make The Creamiest Risotto?

This green vegetable risotto is slightly different in the sense that you will be adding a creamed vegetable puree to it at the end. This, of course, helps the creaminess in itself. However, good risotto has a few fundamental rules that should be followed for best results:

  • Rice for Risotto: Risotto rice needs to be short, starchy and able to withstand long cooking time. Some of the widely available varieties are Arborio and Carnaroli rice (and out of the two, we prefer Carnaroli). Both types of rice are perfect for slow long cooking, letting the rice infuse with all the flavours of stock without losing their shape.
  • Toast the Rice: toasting the rice in a pan before adding any stock is an important step in any risotto preparation. The process seals the surface of the rice, helping it preserve its shape and retain the typical al dente texture.
  • Keep the Stock Hot: Put your stock in a pan and keep it on low heat. This ensures an even cooking temperature. If your stock cools down, it will prolong the cooking time and your rice may become soggy in the process.
  • Add Stock Little By Little: Not adding all the stock at the same time allows the rice to release its starch at a slow rate, making the risotto creamy. Another advantage of adding the stock gradually is being able to control how much of the stock is actually needed before the rice is cooked.
Risotto rice toasting in a dry pan before adding stock.

Method

Heat 2 tbsps of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and sautee on low heat for 5 minutes until softened.

Increase the heat to medium, add the risotto rice, stir and continue cooking for another minute until the rice turns slightly translucent.

Pour the dry white wine into the pan and let it bubble for a couple of minutes until the alcohol evaporates.

One ladle at a time, start adding the stock and stir until all the stock is absorbed. Stir continuously. Add another ladle of stock and keep on cooking until you have no stock left or until your rice is almost cooked (reserve a few tablespoons of stock for the vegetable puree).

In the meantime, make the green puree. In a food processor, blender or a powerful smoothie maker, blitz the spinach and 4-6 tbsp of stock into a smooth purée. Stir in the double cream.

Once the rice is 5 minutes away from being cooked, stir in the peas and the asparagus tips.

Once the asparagus have softened and the rice is cooked al dente, take the risotto off the heat, stir in the green puree, and half the parmesan and lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning if required.

Serve with extra parmesan cheese and lemon zest scattered on top!

Pea and asparagus risotto in a large black plate with parmesan and lemon zest scaterred on top.

Recipe FAQs

Can Risotto Verde Be Served As A Starter?

This fresh and green pea and asparagus risotto is perfect as a starter. Serve it in small bowls, decorated with some pea shoots (if you’re feeling fancy). The quantities in this recipe are for 2 as a main or 6 as a starter.

Can This Risotto Be Made Without White Wine?

Yes! Skip the wine altogether and add 75ml more stock. Alternatively, add a tbsp of white wine vinegar to your stock for a little extra sharpness.

What To Serve with Risotto Verde?

Risotto Verde is a delicious main meal on its own – with all the green vegetables in it, this risotto doesn’t need any vegetable side dishes, but if you fancy a little something extra, why not serve it with:

Other Delicious Vegetarian Risotto Recipes

We think risotto is one of the most amazing dinners that you can make with almost any vegetables you have on hand in your kitchen! Have a look at our risotto recipe section for other ideas. Some of our favourite vegetarian risottos include:

Green risotto served in a blue and white bowl with parmesan and lemon zest on top.

Risotto Verde (Pea and Asparagus Risotto)

Creamy and decadent but equally healthy and nutritious – this green risotto is a perfect vegetarian main or an appetizer to celebrate nature coming alive in spring! Packed full of green vegetables, this pea and asparagus risotto is vibrant in colour and bursting with flavours of spring greens.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 portions
Calories 592 kcal

Equipment

  • Blender, liquidiser or food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 1 brown onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 180 g risotto rice
  • 75 ml dry white wine
  • 650 ml vegetable stock hot
  • 100 g spinach
  • 50 g frozen peas
  • 100 g asparagus tips
  • 40 g parmesan
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 1/2 lemon zest and juice

Instructions
 

  • Heat 2 tbsps of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and sautee on low heat for 5 minutes until softened.
  • Increase the heat to medium, add the risotto rice, stir and continue cooking for another minute until the rice turns slightly translucent.
  • Pour the dry white wine into the pan and let it bubble for a couple of minutes until the alcohol evaporates.
  • One ladle at a time, start adding the stock and stir until all the stock is absorbed. Stir continuously. Add another ladle of stock and keep on cooking until you have no stock left or until your rice is almost cooked (reserve a few tablespoons of stock for the vegetable puree).
  • In the meantime, make the green puree. In a food processor, blender or a powerful smoothie maker, blitz the spinach and 4-6 tbsp of stock into a smooth purée. Stir in the double cream.
  • Once the rice is 5 minutes away from being cooked, stir in the peas and the asparagus tips.
  • Once the asparagus have softened and the rice is cooked al dente, take the risotto off the heat, stir in the green puree, half the parmesan and lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning if required.
  • Serve with extra parmesan cheese and lemon zest scattered on top!

Nutrition

Calories: 592kcalCarbohydrates: 93gProtein: 20gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 1752mgPotassium: 697mgFiber: 8gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 6373IUVitamin C: 46mgCalcium: 402mgIron: 7mg
Keyword Asparagus Pea Risoto, Green Risotto, Green Vegetable Risotto, Risotto Verde, Risotto Verde Recipe, Risotto Verde UK, Spring Green Risotto, Vegetarian Risotto Recipe
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6 Replies to “Risotto Verde (Pea and Asparagus Risotto)”

  1. 5 stars
    I mean….. not only this dish is delicious, it looks like it is nobody’s business. I love it!

    1. Thanks, Mahy! It’s a looker, isn’t it! 😀

  2. 5 stars
    A pretty green risotto that packs in some great flavors. This was good just alone but I served it with baked chicken for my family!

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Mirlene! I can imagine all the green veggies go so well with chicken! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This risotto verde is rich and flavorful, vibrant color and incredible texture. This recipe is a keeper!

    1. Thanks, Silvia! Glad you like it 🙂

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