Spring green and herb risotto

By Mary Berg
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  • 2 1/2–3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, halved, white and light green parts thinly sliced, and washed thoroughly
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 6-8 asparagus stems, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 green zucchini, diced into 1/2 centimeter cubes
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan and keep warm on the back burner over low heat.
  2. In a large sauté pan or Dutch oven set over medium heat, melt the butter and add in the sliced leeks. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, just until softened, about two to three minutes. Add in the Arborio rice and allow it to toast for about two minutes stirring frequently.
  3. When the rice looks a little translucent and begins to crackle a little, turn the heat down to medium-low, add in the wine, and allow it to simmer away until it has all evaporated. Add in the stock half a cup at a time, allowing it to bubble away and absorb before the next addition.  No need to worry about stirring constantly.  Just give it a good whirl after each new addition and every once in a while after as you allow the stock to bubble away.
  4. Continue adding the stock until the risotto is al dente, about 20 to 25 minutes, then add in the lemon zest, lemon juice, sliced asparagus, green peas, and diced zucchini.  Continue cooking the risotto, stirring constantly, for another few minutes to allow the lemon juice to absorb and just cook the vegetables.
  5. Add in the cheese, parsley, and chives just before serving and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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