Sharing a very simple spring pea risotto to celebrate the season! It’s a risotto made of minimal ingredients – arborio rice, peas, butter, and parmesan cheese. Topped with fresh herbs and freshly cracked black pepper. So good you can eat it on its own, or add it as a side dish to any spring meal.
If you’ve been intimidated to try making risotto at home, this spring pea risotto is for you! Minimal ingredients, easy steps, and beautifully simple flavor. It’s the perfect project to keep us busy right now…because yes, there is lots of stirring involved.
spring pea risotto – the process
You’ll need arborio rice to make the risotto, but other than that you probably have most of the other ingredients already in your kitchen. The rice is toasted in olive oil and then cooked slowly with additions of salted water added little by little. You’ll want to stir the rice fairly often as each addition of water is added so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. However, if you stir too much, the rice will actually become gluey. Try to find the perfect balance between stirring and letting the rice sit and simmer.
Only add the next addition of water once the previous addition has been mostly absorbed. Once you’ve added just about all the water, you’ll toss in the peas. You can use either frozen or fresh here. Either will become tender in just a few minutes as you finish adding the water and stir in the remaining ingredients.
Butter and parmesan cheese – both very necessary for a good risotto. They’re really simple flavors, but add so much richness to the dish. After allowing both to melt into the rice, the risotto is essentially done. Make sure to taste and ensure the rice is tender and there’s enough salt.
The consistency should be somewhat loose, with the last bit of water and butter creating a nice “sauce” for the rice. You don’t want to cook it too long so that it turns into a thick mush. There’s a sweet spot where the rice is tender and cooked through, but the consistency is still spoonable and has a silkiness to it. That’s when you want to cut off the heat. It takes a little bit of practice to get the perfect consistency for risotto, but trust me, even if you overcook it slightly…it will still taste amazing.
I like to serve the spring pea risotto with lots of fresh herbs over top, a little cracked black pepper, and of course an extra generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese. It’d go great with this braised chicken over top or even with a simply seared steak.Print
Spring Pea Risotto
simple spring pea risotto with butter and parmesan cheese
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 6 oz peas (fresh or frozen)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 oz freshly grated parmesan cheese
- any chopped soft herbs (chives, basil, mint, parsley, watercress, etc.)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- more parmesan
- Pour the water into a small saucepan and add the salt. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep the water warm as you make the risotto.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the arborio rice. Allow the rice to toast for a couple of minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon.
- Use a ½-cup measuring cup to slowly add the heated water to the rice. Stir fairly often as each addition of water absorbs into the rice before adding the next. The rice will begin to expand as it takes in the water and become creamy from the agitation. This process should take about 25 minutes or so.
- Before the last addition of water, add the peas to the pot. Add the remaining water and continue to stir for a few minutes longer. Stir in the butter and parmesan cheese, and allow to melt. At this point, the rice should be tender. Taste the risotto and season with more salt if needed.
- Spoon the risotto into a large bowl and top with the herbs, freshly cracked black pepper, and more parmesan cheese.
Stirring the risotto fairly often is key so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. However, if you stir too much, it will become gluey. Try to find the perfect balance.