Asparagus Risotto with Spring Pea Pesto

Asparagus Risotto with Spring Pea Pesto

From Sherrie Scaglione of With Food + Love and winner of the Gluten-Free Choices Spring Recipe Contest

Asparagus Risottoe with Spring Pea Pesto

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time:45 minutes

Risotto Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups Aborio rice
  • 5-6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a large pot bring the water or vegetable broth to a boil. Once it is boiling turn down the heat and keep it at a simmer. You will use this liquid to add to the rice one cup at a time until it is all absorbed. Do not rinse the rice beforehand, in doing so you will wash away the starches that help make risotto creamy.
  2. In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for about 5 minutes or until they start to lightly brown. Then add the rice and stir well. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Ladle 1 cup of the liquid into the rice mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this step, adding 1 cup of liquid at a time until the rice is cooked through but still a tad firm. This will take about 35-45 minutes total. You may not need to use all of the liquid or you may need to use a little more, just keep adding until you get a loose and creamy texture.
  4. Cut asparagus into bit sized pieces and steam until a bright green color develops about 3-4 minutes. Do not overcook.

Pesto Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of steamed peas
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and coarse ground pepper, to taste


  1. Combine all of the pesto ingredients together in a food processor and pulse until blended smooth. Spoon a generous dollop of pesto onto the risotto and enjoy!

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