Saffron Risotto with Asparagus and Spring Peas

Talk about comfort food! Seriously this dish taste like butter! Creamy, saffron-spiked risotto mixed with fresh asparagus and spring peas. I actually made this back in late April and recently remembered that I had yet to post it! While asparagus and peas might not be in season anymore, it would taste great with red pepper, zucchini, green beans or tomatoes.

Saffron makes this dish taste elegant and rich. Yes, it’s a bit expensive but you only need a pinch or two to flavor the entire dish.

1 leek, halved and sliced into half moons, white part only
1 tbsp. oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 tsp. saffron
1 small white onion, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 lemon
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup white wine

Dissolve the saffron in 1/4 cup hot water. Heat the stock in a separate sauce pan and add the saffron broth. In a separate sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and sweat the garlic and onion for 5 minutes. Add the rice and continue to stir a few minutes, toasting the rice. Add the wine and cook another 5 minutes until the rice has absorbed the wine. Using a soup ladle, ladle 1 cup hot broth to the risotto mixture along with 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir until most of the liquid has absorbed. Continue to add the hot broth to the risotto until broth is gone and/or rice is creamy and fully cooked. Stir in the lemon juice and chopped vegetables, for this I used 1 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1″ pieces, and 1/2 cup spring peas. Cover the pot and let sit for 5 minutes. Season with salt/pepper if needed. You can also stir in nutritional yeast/parmesan cheese if desired.

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