This dish to me is spring on a plate: tender yet crunchy green vegetables with bright, creamy lemon rice. The part you don’t see in this tidy photo is the arguing and bickering that went on behind the scenes.
Jack isn’t (yet) the biggest fan of asparagus or peas, and he threw a mini tantrum when I quickly tossed in handfuls of both of these vegetables near the end of his risotto-stirring duty. I can’t recall exactly how it went because it was a fight about nothing (the good ones always are) but some of the remarks that flew around were “come on you just think you won’t like it!” and “now you’re just cooking for the blog!”, and “really you’re going to walk out that door over peas!”
It really was a pointless argument because in the end he loved this meal (I win), but I’m not one to gloat…
This really is one of the most delicious risottos we’ve made. There’s a technique in this recipe that is absolute genius. I can’t take credit for it, but I’m excited to share it nonetheless. When your stirring is all done… the part where you would normally add more butter or handfuls of cheese to create your final creamy risotto texture, stir in a whisked egg yolk instead. It creates the most luscious texture and rich flavor without all the extra butter and cheese. It’s so delicious you’ll even be able to sneak in a few extra green vegetables.
- 1 cup arborio rice
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ large onion, chopped
- 3 cups veggie stock
- 2 tablespoons butter (I use non-dairy butter)
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 1 small lemon, zest and juice
- ½ cup peas (or however much you like)
- 1 cup asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 4 basil leaves, chopped
- handful of sprouts
- salt & pepper
- sun dried tomatoes (optional)
- shaved parmesan or pecorino (optional)
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- water or more stock, if needed
- Put veggie stock in a pan on the stove and simmer.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter, oil, onion, garlic, and a few pinches of salt. Cook until onion is soft, 4-5 minutes.
- Add rice, stir together, and let the rice toast for about 1 minute.
- Add white wine and half the lemon juice and let it cook, stirring for about 2 minutes until the wine is somewhat evaporated.
- Add stock, one ladle full at a time, stirring continuously. When stock becomes mostly cooked down, add the next ladle full. This process should take about 20 minutes. Add more stock or water if necessary. During the last few minutes of this process, add in asparagus and peas.
- Remove pan from heat. Mix in sun dried tomatoes, remaining lemon juice, lemon zest (reserve a bit for garnish at the end), beaten egg yolk, and cheese (if using). Stir together. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add more hot stock if necessary to reach your desired consistency.
- Scoop into bowls and garnish with lemon zest, sprouts, basil, red pepper flakes & grated cheese, if you like.