Risotto Primavera

(recipe, Andrea Chesman)

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  1. 8 asparagus spears, cut into 2-inch lengths
  2. 1 cup fresh peas in their pods (snow or sugar snap)
  3. 4 carrots (baby, spring, or storage), cut into narrow spears
  4. 2 cups baby spinach or young arugula
  5. 5½ cups high-quality vegetable or chicken broth
  6. ½ cup dry white wine
  7. 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  8. 2 shallots, minced
  9. 2 cups uncooked arborio rice
  10. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  11. ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  12. ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or sun-dried tomatoes


  1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus, peas, and carrots; boil for 20 seconds. Stir in the spinach, then immediately drain. The vegetables should be barely cooked.
  2. Heat the broth and wine to simmering in a medium-size saucepan.
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the shallots and rice and toss to coat with the oil. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the rice appears toasted.
  4. Add 1 cup of the simmering broth to the rice. Stir until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue adding more broth, 1 cup at a time, cooking and stirring as the liquid is absorbed. It will take a total of 20 to 30 minutes for the liquid to be absorbed and the rice to become tender and creamy.
  5. Stir in the vegetables and allow them to heat through. Stir in the chives and basil. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.


Culinate editor's notes: Feel free to use whatever spring vegetables and herbs you have on hand, swapping out fresh mushrooms for the peas, for example, or parsley for the basil. You can also cook the vegetables directly in the risotto, adding the more tender vegetables towards the end of the cooking time. At the very end of the cooking time, adding some freshly grated lemon zest and a bit of crème fraîche makes for a zingy, lightly creamy risotto. Freshly grated Parmesan for serving at the table is also delish.