Asparagus, Pea and Fava Bean Risotto

Asparagus, pea and fava beans combine to create a fancy green risotto. This decadent restaurant-style dish is rich, creamy and easily re-created at home. Serve it as a fancy main course or as a side dish.

This risotto is perfect in spring when asparagus, peas and fava beans are in season and at their peak in freshness. Change up the fava beans with sugar snap peas, green beans or lima beans if you like.


2 cups arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano rice
3 leeks, white part only, chopped
4 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive
1 cup dry white wine
8 cups vegetable stock, simmering
1 cup shelled fresh or frozen fava beans, blanched
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1/3 cup whipping cream (35%)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Lemon zest, for garnish
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


Heat 2 tbsp. butter and oil in a non-stick casserole pan or skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add leeks and sauté until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and season with salt and pepper. Cook rice for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally so rice is thoroughly coated with oil and butter.

Add the white wine. Let wine reduce until most of the liquid is evaporated and pan is dry. Add one ladleful of simmering stock, let cook, stirring frequently, until the stock is completely absorbed into the rice and the pan is dry. Continue to add one ladleful of stock at a time and letting the stock reduce until the pan is dry each time, adding the asparagus, fava beans and peas after about 10 to 12 minutes of cooking. Cook until rice is tender yet still firm, about 20 minutes. Stir in tarragon.

Remove risotto from heat. Add cream and remaining 2 tbsp. of butter. Finish risotto with freshly grated Parmesan, lemon zest and parsley.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.