Easy Spring Pea and Parmesan Risotto
Risotto is an easy and delicious dish that might come off as complicated but is in fact not complicated at all. This version is packed with sweet spring peas, sharp Parmesan and a touch of bright lemon. It’s ready in just 40 minutes and is the perfect springtime side dish. Stir in a little grilled chicken and you have a one-pot wonder!
We have always felt risotto has somewhat a bad reputation. When made poorly it’s bad. It’s gloopy, thick and taste almost of wallpaper paste. When it’s made well it’s a gift on your plate. Creamy, delicate and a vehicle for almost any flavor combination. It also has that big “to stir” or “not stir” debate that seems to circle around recipes. To be honest most people are big fans of not stirring. Any dish that requires me to stand around for 40 minutes stirring is not a recipe will be making. When you get home from the work the last thing you want to do is spend 40 minutes babysitting rice.
That’s why this recipe for risotto gives you that perfect risotto texture without all that stirring. It’s low maintenance so it makes giving it a go not such a hassle. Plus because it’s minimal stir I like to think it’s perfect for weeknights where you might have just a little more time.
Even thought there is not a lot of stirring with this method of risotto there is some stirring. So you want to make sure the pan you use has high sides and is big enough to hold a lot of stock and handle some good hearty stirring. I ended up using the 12-inch Premium Stainless Steel Sauté Pan and it was the perfect choice. It has nice high sides so when I added in my stock I didn’t have to worry about splashing over the sides and creating a big kitchen mess. Plus it comes with a well fitting lid that is a must in almost any rice cooking preparation. Plus the long handle made it perfect for gripping while I gave a nice vigorous stir at the end to make sure my risotto came out perfectly creamy!
Don’t worry if you have never made risotto before. It’s really nothing to be scared of and it a lot simpler than many recipes make it sound. Plus it’s a great base to add in just about any of your favorite vegetables, meats or herbs. This version keeps it simple but just think of all the fresh summer vegetables that will hit the market soon!
Spring Pea and Parmesan Risotto
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
7-1/2 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2-1/2 cups arborio rice
1-1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups frozen petite peas
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, more if desired
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt, to taste
Cracked pepper, to taste
1. Add chicken stock to a pot and bring to a simmer.
2. Place your sauté pan over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. Once the butter is melted add in the onion and sauté until the onion is soft but not browned.
3. Add in the rice and toast the rice for just a few minutes until it becomes slightly translucent around the edges.
4. Pour in the white wine and cook until the wine has cooked off.
5. Add in 6-1/2 cups warmed chicken stock, stir, turn down heat to low and cover. Let the rice simmer for about 20 minutes, making sure to stir the rice a few times during the cooking process. Keep an eye on the heat so you don’t go above a simmer. No boiling.
6. After it has cooked for 20 minutes add in ¾ cup warmed stock and stir for about 5 minutes or until the risotto is super creamy.
7. Stir in peas, grated Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, fresh thyme leaves and lemon juice. Taste and season with desired amount of kosher salt and black pepper.
If the risotto seems a bit thick feel free to loosen up with remaining warmed stock.