Risotto Primavera

Risotto primaveraIt’s funny, but probably the dish I make most often for dinner at home is risotto. And yet, we have very few risotto recipes on our site. This is something I decided to remedy this year. 

Recently, Trey and I had a few friends over for dinner while testing out some red wines for an upcoming post (it’s coming next week—get excited!). Our friend Adam asked me what I make for dinner usually, since he knows I love to cook. I told him that I make risotto a lot and he was shocked! He asked how I had the patience to make it, which is a pretty valid question, since a big part of making risotto involves standing over the pot and stirring for about 15 to 20 minutes. Risotto primavera (click through for recipe)I didn’t admit this to Adam at the time, but I’ll tell you the truth, since we’re all friends here. I typically either check Instagram or play some kind of game on my phone while I make risotto. It’s my end-of-the day, unwind moment. I’m currently hooked on Farm Heroes, if you’re curious. 

So, that’s me. The girl stirring risotto, a somewhat fancy dish, while playing Farm Heroes or Candy Crush or something along those lines. I’m pretty cool; what can I say? 🙂

Risotto Primavera, serves two to three.

1 cup arborio rice
2/3 cup white wine*
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
8 oz cooked shrimp
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
1/2 white onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
24-30 asparagus spears
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
salt + pepper

*Note: What kind of white wine? Good question. I will often save any leftover wine (if we don’t finish a bottle) for cooking. If you are opening a new bottle, choose something that you’d like to drink with dinner. I avoid sweet wines like Moscato or Riesling when cooking. For this particular dish I used a Chardonnay.

First, finely chop the onion and garlic. Also chop off the hard ends of the asparagus spears (a good test for this is to bend the spear in your hands and see where it naturally breaks). Thaw the peas and carrots, as well as the shrimp.

In a large saucepan cook the peas, carrots, and shrimp in a tablespoon or two of olive oil over high heat. Season with salt and pepper. You’re really not looking to cook these ingredients, as they are already cooked, but rather to sear in some salt and pepper flavor. After a couple minutes, remove these ingredients to a plate and set aside until you need them later.Emma Chapman of A Beautiful MessNext, place the asparagus on a baking sheet or in a large cast iron pan. Toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 375°F until bright green and softened. Depending how soft you prefer your asparagus, you can adjust the bake time, but I like to let it bake while I prepare the risotto (about 15-20 minutes).

In a small pot combine the wine and vegetable stock. Simmer (over very low heat). Having these elements warm will help them to cook into the rice faster. This step is not absolutely necessary, but I find that it does save me some time.  How to roast asparagusIn the large saucepan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and garlic just until they begin to soften and become very fragrant (1 to 2 minutes). Toss in the rice and cook for another 2 minutes until it begins to look translucent. Now begin adding the wine/stock mixture, half a cup at a time, stirring until it’s mostly absorbed before adding more. Continue until the rice is cooked through. I usually taste a few grains of rice once I’ve used most of the wine/stock mixture. You may not need all of the liquid, but you’ll at least get close. 🙂

Season with salt and pepper. Now stir in the peas, carrots, and shrimp. Cook until everything is warm. Last, stir in the cheese.How to make risottoCheck on your asparagus. Serve the risotto alongside the baked asparagus. Sprinkle the chopped thyme over the top before serving.
Risotto primavera (click through for recipe) Feel free to change up the vegetables with whatever you have on hand. You could use cooked chicken or baked tofu in place of the shrimp if you prefer. Do what you love. Enjoy! xo. Emma

P.S. In case you’re curious, this was Trey and my work lunch one day last week. It was a good day. Way better than granola bar lunch days. 🙂

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Risotto Primavera

Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup white wine*
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz cooked shrimp
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots thawed
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 24-30 asparagus spears
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt + pepper

Instructions

  1. First, finely chop the onion and garlic. Also chop off the hard ends of the asparagus spears (a good test for this is to bend the spear in your hands and see where it naturally breaks). Thaw the peas and carrots, as well as the shrimp.
  2. In a large saucepan cook the peas, carrots, and shrimp in a tablespoon or two of olive oil over high heat. Season with salt and pepper. You're really not looking to cook these ingredients, as they are already cooked, but rather to sear in some salt and pepper flavor. After a couple minutes, remove these ingredients to a plate and set aside until you need them later.
  3. Next, place the asparagus on a baking sheet or in a large cast iron pan. Toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 375°F until bright green and softened. Depending how soft you prefer your asparagus, you can adjust the bake time, but I like to let it bake while I prepare the risotto (about 15-20 minutes).
  4. In a small pot combine the wine and vegetable stock. Simmer (over very low heat). Having these elements warm will help them to cook into the rice faster. This step is not absolutely necessary, but I find that it does save me some time.
  5. In the large saucepan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and garlic just until they begin to soften and become very fragrant (1 to 2 minutes). Toss in the rice and cook for another 2 minutes until it begins to look translucent. Now begin adding the wine/stock mixture, half a cup at a time, stirring until it's mostly absorbed before adding more. Continue until the rice is cooked through. I usually taste a few grains of rice once I've used most of the wine/stock mixture. You may not need all of the liquid, but you'll at least get close.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Now stir in the peas, carrots, and shrimp. Cook until everything is warm. Last, stir in the cheese.
  7. Check on your asparagus. Serve the risotto alongside the baked asparagus. Sprinkle the chopped thyme over the top before serving.

Recipe Notes

*Note: What kind of white wine? Good question. I will often save any leftover wine (if we don't finish a bottle) for cooking. If you are opening a new bottle, choose something that you'd like to drink with dinner. I avoid sweet wines like Moscato or Riesling when cooking. For this particular dish I used a Chardonnay.

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography by: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Penelope of the Signature Collection

  • I read my blog roll while I make jam. It’s basically the same idea, twenty minutes or so of nothing but stirring. Sometimes I watch movies because a quirk of fate has left a direct line of sight between my stove and the TV.

  • This looks seriously scrumptious, great recipe!

    Josie xoxo | Fashion Mumblr

  • Looks amazing! And I have to say, I love the cooking progress photos that you always show… as if we are cooking along with you. So many blogs just show the ingredients and then the finished product.. but I love the way you do it!

  • Looks delicious! Love the way you just piled the risotto onto the asparagus instead of chopping the asparagus and placing it on top of the rice.

    Julia

  • I LOVE risotto! What I like about it is that you can put whatever vegetable in season in it and it will always be delicious! But I don’t think that waiting 15 or 20 min in front of your pot requires so much patience. Well, except if you’re hyperactive and can’t remain still for 20 min but maybe that’s just me who’s a slow cooker 😉

  • Yummm, I’ve never had risotto before! I always tell myself I’m going to try it out but never do. This looks really good!

    Danielle
    Smitten with Sunday

  • Wow, I feel like an idiot—I always thought risotto had to have large amounts of butter in it! I don’t eat dairy, so if I sub in some vegan cheese at the end, I can easily make this for dinner! Thanks, Emma.

  • I made risotto the first time last year (I think I actually used one of your recipes!) and it was sooooo good. All that standing and stirring was the perfect time to read a book too.

  • Yum! That looks delicious, I’m bookmarking this now to try this week. You are my cooking hero, you make all of the things I’m afraid to try and show me how on your blog. Go Emma!

  • I cook risotto all the time too…so worth the time!

    Emma, have you ever played the tile game 2048? I’m so addicted. Reminds me of the Tetris days of my youth! 😉

  • I know that this is so random and does not pertain to this yummy post at all, but I was just searching for some DIY wedding gifts as my sis and a few of my friends are getting married this summer and I do not want to just buy them something off of their registry and I thought, wouldnt it be helpful it ABM had a post about this, so just throwing out the idea that I bet a ton of your readers have weddings to go to this summer and might also be looking for some gift ideas.
    And to be even more specific, I would love a tutorial on burning initials into a custom cutting board ha!
    Love Y’all, keep doin what you do and making us smile!!
    Betsy

  • Thank you so much for including the baked tofu as an alternative! I’m a vegetarian and at first, I thought it was meat only. Smart thinking! This looks good. I’m not much of a cook but this actually looks like something I could do. The asparagus looks amazing 🙂

    Love and Luck,

    Laurali Star

    http://www.thesecretsurprisinista.com

  • Glad to know I’m not alone. This is my favorite go-to dinner, too. Partially because it’s tasty, but mostly because of the time it takes which lets me mentally check out while I stir. I’ll be sure to try this version soon. Thanks!

  • This looks super yummy! And I, too, am addicted to Farm Heroes. I have been stuck on a level of CCS forEVER, so I started downloading all of these games to fill that frustrating gap. I play Farm Heroes, Fruit Splash, Candy Blast Mania, and Cookie Jam…okay, I’m addicted.

  • Yes, we usually use oil. I like cooking with oils more often than butter, personally.

    Honestly, at home sometimes we leave the cheese out (especially if I find I didn’t buy any!). It’s still very creamy and feels very indulgent without it.

    -Emma

  • Yep. Most nights we make risotto with all veggies. Lately I’ve been adding chopped up facon (soy bacon). We eat mostly vegetarian as well-yay for veggies!!!!

    -Emma

  • This looks delicious! But you know what, I’ve never had risotto before. Never. Actually, I’m not even entirely sure what it is. Is it…watery rice? Rice with wine? I have no idea!

  • Its very rare I ever look at something so healthy and get hunger pains, but with this I did!

    Jenna || Jennafifi.co.uk

  • I also make risotto alot for dinner. And I completely agree that its a way to unwind, standing over the stove for a while.

    I’ve also made a version you can put in the oven and that has been awesome for when we have guest that I want to socialize with. I just time it so the chopping and sauteing is done before they arrive and when they do arrive I can stick it in the oven with all the liquid at once and it comes out as if I was over the stove the whole time.

  • It sounds like you enjoy the time consuming part of risotto, Emma, but for those that don’t love that part–use a pressure cooker. It still results in a lovely creamy dish, but without all of the stirring and it is finished in about 1/2 the time!

  • You are so right about using cooking times to relax with. I find the best thing about making risotto is how my focus on everyday things and problems just melt away. I used to bake a lot of bread at university for the same reason.

  • Oh man! Is that the mint-colored Organic Dinnerware from West Elm?! I put it on my wedding registry, and they’re out now. Lucky lady!

    Also, I’ve never made risotto, but I’m eager to try now!

  • Every now and then I can totally see the resemblance between you and Elsie. That picture of you stirring is one of them. Is it weird to say you have the same smile profile?

  • I make risotto all the time and glad to hear I’m not the only one who finds the stirring soothing. 😉 It’s so easy and the stirring can be quite meditative, I think.

    I keep a bottle of vermouth on hand to use in risottos, it works great, is cheap and I don’t have to worry about buying wine ( although making a risotto is a great excuse to buy a bottle of wine! ). Oh and love the idea of serving it over whole asparagus instead of cutting & mixing the asparagus in. Such a lovely presentation!

  • I love risotto! With regard to having the time and patience to make risotto, I heard a quote once that making risotto is a pleasure with a glass of wine in hand and someone you love to talk with while you do it – and I absolutely agree with that!

    Charlie x
    http://impulsory.net

  • Great recipe!
    I make risotto often. Risotto isn’t like crème anglaise, you don’t need to stir it *all the time* – stir it during the first few minutes, then just very regularly. I typically will do other stuff in the kitchen (dishwashing, putting away stuff, making dessert) while it’s cooking, and stir every few minutes.
    And if you’re like me and like your asparagus to retain a little crunch, 10 minutes in the oven is perfect.

  • Yum… looks delicious. Risotto is so versatile you could swap in a variety of veggies, and even use cooked chicken if you wanted to. I love the idea of stirring risotto as being a time of day when you get to unwind. I think I enjoy cooking for this reason as well, although it was difficult when the children were little and didn’t like me having to stand by the stove for 20 minutes:)

  • Hi Emma,
    This looks delicious! I’m curious though; every risotto recipe I’ve read and made say to add the wine separately to the rice first, let the alcohol cook off, then add the stock a ladle full at a time – I wonder if your technique would still have some ‘wine’ flavour when served, and if that would be a good or a bad thing.?! hmmmm…
    Might have to try both ways to see!
    Ele x

  • I love primavera! I work in the office of a banquet hall and the only time that I eat the lunch that they serve us is when it’s primavera. mmmm! I love that you made it into risotto!

    xoxo
    Taylor

  • Made this last night–it was so good! It tasted fresh and light, and was really easy to make since the asparagus roasts while the risotto is cooking, and the shrimp and veggies take no time to saute. Thanks for the inspiration, and I’d love to see more risotto recipes in the future, since it’s one of my favorites too!

  • This bag is great! It seems the perfect everyday bring along.
    I am super excited for your blog love 2.0 ecourse :). Will it be available for purchase this month? Thanks!

    xoxo,

    Mickie.

  • I made this tonight and it was my first time trying to make risotto. It turned out great! Because I didn’t have any, I didn’t use shrimp or asparagus and I used all veggie stock because I didn’t have any wine on hand. And I used peas and corn for the veggies. Next time I think I want to try using all mushroom 😀 Thanks for the great recipe!

  • This looks delicious. I love Risotto with lots of Parmesan, white wine and celery for added crunch. Yum!

  • Dear Emma,
    I’m italian and I must say that your risotto looks delicious!
    One thing only: in Italy we add the wine together with the rice, while it’s toasting with the onion, than we add little by little the vegetable stock. By doing this, you let the wine cook off, so that your risotto won’t taste like wine. 🙂 Needless to say, if you like the taste of the wine in it, you can definitely add it to your risotto while it is cooking 🙂
    As for the stirring, I can’t see it as a waste of time, or boring. I savor every moment and every stir, because to me it’s like a moment of complete relaxation, sometimes I don’t even do nothing, I simply stare at the pot, admiring my risotto that slowly comes to life. It’s a pleasure. In one word, I’m Italian.

    PS. You can also use only red wine, a full-bodied one, like Chianti or Amarone, adding it while it is cooking. You will taste the incredible bouquet of flavors of the wine, together with the creamy risotto. Try it!
    Oh, just one more tip: you can make risotto with any vegetable you like: asparagus (my all time favorite), artichokes, aubergines, adding whatever you like! Sometimes a simple risotto is better than a glitzy meal! 😉

    Sofia

  • Hi!
    I’m one of your best italian fan.
    It’s not rissoto but RISOTTO!

    If you want some beautiful, tipical and easy italian recipe, I’m here!
    And you also travel in Florence, I’m a good “Cicerone”!

    Bye

  • Emma, I made this for dinner tonight and really enjoyed it!! I didn’t love the brand of vegetable stock I used, though (it was kind of tomato-y). What vegetable stock do you use?