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Risotto with Peas, Mint & Lemon

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Serves four as a main dish or six as a side dish.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 64

  • 5 to 6 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups arborio rice (or other risotto rice)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (like Pinot Grigio)
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano; more for serving

Heat the chicken broth in a saucepan over medium-high heat until very hot and then reduce the heat to keep the broth hot. In another wide, heavy saucepan, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onion softens and starts to turn lightly golden, 3 to 5 min. Add the rice and stir until the grains are well coated with butter and the edges become translucent, 1 to 2 min. Pour in the wine and stir until it’s absorbed, about 1 min. Add another generous pinch of salt and ladle enough of the hot broth into the pan to barely cover the rice, about 1 cup. Bring to a boil and then adjust the heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth has been mostly absorbed, 2 to 3 min. Continue adding broth in 1/2-cup increments, stirring and simmering, until it has been absorbed each time, at intervals of about 2 to 3 min.

After about 16 to 18 min., the rice should be creamy but still fairly firm. At this point, add the peas and another 1/2 cup broth. Continue to simmer and stir until the peas are just cooked and the rice is just tender to the tooth, another 3 to 4 min. Stir in another splash of broth if the risotto is too thick. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the mint, lemon juice, lemon zest, the remaining 2 Tbs. butter, and the Parmigiano. Season with salt to taste. Serve the risotto immediately with a sprinkling of Parmigiano.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 270; Fat (g): fat g 10; Fat Calories (kcal): 90; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 6; Protein (g): protein g 9; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 31; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 520; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 25; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I've made this three or four times now, and I am still not convinced. I've tried 2 different types of risotto rice (arborio and carnaroli), and have followed the instructions carefully. Still, I don't get the "bright" flavor I expect from mint and lemon. And, it's not quite as moist & creamy as I imagine risotto to be--I always end up using the full 6 cups of stock. Will try the sage & butternut squash one now to see if that's any improvement.

Love this. Perfect side dish for the first warm days of spring! Followed recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly.

I have made this recipe several times, and it quickly became one of my family's favorites! It's a delicious mix of light flavors and textures. We enjoy it most with grilled shrimp or chicken. (Also, this was my first attempt at making risotto, and I must say the step-by-step instructions were perfect!)

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