Cristina Ferrare's Risotto with Fresh Peas and Asparagus



  • 1 cup of fresh peas blanched for 2 minutes in boiling water, drain rinsed with cool water and set aside
  • 1 cup of asparagus tips blanched for 2 minutes in boiling water, drain rinse with cool water and set aside
  • 6-1/2 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought organic chicken broth, heated through 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • zest from 1 lemon

  1. Combine the chicken broth and saffron in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
  2. Heat a stock pot over medium-high heat until warm (about 30 seconds). Add oil, butter, onions, and salt. Saute just until the onions turn translucent and are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently for 4 minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups of the warm broth and the white wine to cover the rice. Mix well. Bring to a gentle boil over low heat, boil gently until the liquid is almost gone.
  4. Stir in 3 more cups of broth, stirring about every 3 minutes and simmer until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add 1-½ cups more broth, 1/2 cup every 3 to 4 minutes, to keep the rice mixture creamy.
  6. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is cooked through but still a bit firm in the center, about 10 to 12 minutes. The last 10 minutes of cooking add the Stir in the asparagus, peas, Parmesan cheese and lemon zest, adjust the seasoning.

Adding fresh lump crab meat or Grilled seafood is a winning combination with the vegetable or just the fish alone! Use the juice from 1 fresh lemon to wake up the flavor!

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