Boy, do I have a wonderful vegetarian recipe for a Meatless Monday! I love to order risotto when we are out to eat, but have always been intimidated to make it! At the start of 2010 I told myself that this was going to be the year that I was going to break boundaries–make foods that intimidate me. Risotto is a “labor of love”, and boy was it ever, but oh-so worth it in the end. I found this recipe in my new cookbook: Cook Yourself Thin. Best of all one cup is only 489 calories! Not bad if you pair it with a grilled piece of chicken like we did or just eat it as your main course!
Pea and Asparagus Risotto
- 1 Stove Top
- 2 Stock Pots
- 1 Wooden Spoon
- 1 pound asparagus ends trimmed (cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- ½ white onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 32 ounces Low sodium chicken broth
- 1-½ cups arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup Frozen Peas thawed
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Lemon zested
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Then, add the chopped 1-inch pieces of asparagus stalks (reserving the tips). Cook for 1 minute. Then add the asparagus tips and cook an additional minute.
- Once the asparagus has cooked for two minutes, strain into a colander then soak in an ice bath. Once the asparagus is chilled remove from the water and set to the side.
- Combine the oil and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Meanwhile, bring the 5 cups of stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter into the onions and garlic. Then add in the arborio rice. Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the rice is translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add ½ cup simmering stock and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, continue adding the broth, about ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently, until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy and has the texture of loose porridge, 17-20 minutes. Once the rice is fully cooked add the cooked asparagus and green peas. Mix well then season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with zested lemon peel and cheese. Mix well and serve.
- Recipe Substitutions:
- Dairy Free Option - To make this recipe dairy free omit the butter and the grated cheese.
- Vegetarian Option - Use a a vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
- Chicken Broth - It is important that you use low-sodium chicken broth for this recipe. As the rice cooks it will take on all the flavors of the broth. The lemon will also intensify the saltiness flavors.