Spring Risotto

Daniel Hautzinger
Spring risotto with asparagus, spinach, and spring onions
Photo: PBS Food

Spring may be here, but there's still a chill in the air. So simultaneously take advantage of the fresh green produce of early spring – asparagus, spring onions, spinach – and warm yourself against the cool damp with this bright and warming spring risotto, recipe courtesy of Adrianna Adarme at PBS Food.

Spring Risotto

Makes 6 servings


Asparagus, spinach, spring onions, and garlic for spring risottoPhoto: PBS Food 4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/4 lb asparagus, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup packed fresh spinach
2 spring onions, white and pale green parts sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
2 to 3 cups warm vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Zest from 1/2 lemon


1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of butter. When melted, add the asparagus, spinach, onions, garlic cloves, and pinch of salt. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until asparagus and spinach are bright green. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until mixture looks like a puree. If you need to, feel free to add a splash or two of chicken broth to the mixture to make it smoother. Set aside. 

2. Meanwhile, in the same saucepan (no need to wash it out), melt another tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the rice and about 1/2 tsp of salt and cook for a few minutes, stirring to ensure no browning on the rice occurs. Pour in about 1/4 cup of the white wine and 1/4 cup broth and cook, stirring the entire time, until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue this process of adding the broth, in 1/4 cup increments, over and over again, for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the rice has bloomed and is cooked. You should need about 2 to 3 cups broth. Lastly, stir in the reserved green puree, Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, lemon zest, and last 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook for a few more minutes until bubbly and perfect. If needed (I like my risotto to spread), add a few more splashes of broth, stir and serve. Top with more Parmesan and freshly cracked pepper.