Lemon Risotto with Peas is a springtime dish that is light, filling, and zesty. This creamy dish can be served as a main dish or as a side to any protein!
Ingredients needed for this spring risotto:
- Olive Oil – Used to sauté the veggies.
- Butter – For additional richness, I use a couple tablespoons of unsalted butter.
- Veggies – Yellow onion and garlic, always.
- Rice – You’ll need Arborio Rice to make this dish. I often times order it, as it can be difficult to find in the grocery stores.
- Wine – White wine is used in this recipe. You can use additional broth in its place.
- Broth – Lower-sodium chicken broth is used here.
- Seasonings – Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Cheese – Make sure you buy a wedge of real parmesan cheese. You’ll need to freshly grate it, which is super simple.
- Lemon – You’ll need a couple tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh!) and the zest from one lemon. This is the KEY to this risotto as it gives it that perfect lemon-y flavor!
- Peas – I used English peas in this recipe, but you could use anything you like.
- Asparagus – The asparagus adds amazing flavor to this dish, and it gets cooked separately while you cook the risotto.
How to make lemon risotto with peas:
- Sauté veggies. In a medium stockpot, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, salt, and pepper, and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and rice, and stir constantly for a minute or two, slightly browning the rice.
- Add liquid. Pour in the wine and the lemon juice, and stir. Let the liquids absorb into the rice, stirring often. Then add chicken broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, letting it absorb into the rice before adding more. This will take about 25 minutes or so. DON’T add the broth too quickly. Add more seasoning as you go.
- Add peas. When you are toward the end of the process of adding broth, add in the peas. You’ll want to cook these for a few minutes with the risotto.
- Add parmesan cheese. Remove from heat when the liquids are added and absorbed, and stir in the parmesan cheese. Top with lemon zest.
- Cook asparagus. Meanwhile, sauté the asparagus in a hot cast iron skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook until slightly softened. You want some bite left in the asparagus!
- Serve. To serve, top with asparagus, some additional parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is Arborio rice? Arborio Rice is a variety of short-grained rice. It retains more of it’s natural starch content due to less milling (than ordinary long-grained rice). The slow cooking process (and the technique below) releases this starch, giving risotto it’s creamy consistency.
- Where can I find Arborio rice? This rice can be difficult to find at times. Several grocery stores do carry it as well as Amazon.
- Do I have to use wine in risotto? If you don’t want to include the wine, feel free to substitute additional chicken broth.
- What does the lemon do to this dish? The lemon adds some freshness to this risotto. You’ll need to enjoy the taste if you choose to make it! It’s delicious!
What to serve with risotto:
- Grilled Chicken Skewers, Stuffed Flank Steak, or any grilled meat would be excellent.
- Chewy French Bread – or any crusty bread.
- Roasted Tomato Bruschetta – this would go perfectly with this dish to keep it meatless, and you can prep it in advance.
- Any simple salad like my Arugula Caprese Salad.
- And white wine, of course!
Lemon Risotto with Peas
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium onion – diced
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste (season in layers)
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine – something you would drink (or use extra broth if you don't want to include wine)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice – freshly squeezed
- 4 ½ cups lower-sodium chicken broth
- 8 oz. english peas
- 8 oz. asparagus – one pound before trimming
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese – plus more for serving
- the zest of one lemon
- In a medium stockpot, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add chopped onions, kosher salt, and pepper – and saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and rice and stir constantly for a minute or so, slightly browning the rice.
- Pour in the wine (or chicken broth, if not using wine) and lemon juice – and stir. Let the liquids absorb into the rice, stirring often. Then add the chicken broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, letting it absorb into the rice before adding more broth. This will take 25-30 minutes or so because the broth needs to absorb slowly. Add more salt and pepper as you go.
- Add peas toward the end of the process above – when you add in the last bit of broth. You want to cook the peas for a few minutes with the risotto.
- When the liquids are added and fully absorbed, remove the pot and add the freshly grated parmesan cheese. Top with lemon zest.
- Meanwhile, cook the asparagus in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil. Cook until slightly softened but not too much. You want some bite left in the asparagus!
- Serve risotto with sautéed asparagus, some extra parmesan cheese, and another sprinkle of ground black pepper.