Peas and Asparagus Risotto

Peas and Asparagus Risotto | Playful Cooking

Some dishes cannot be rushed through. It needs extra time, more love and a cook’s unbroken attention. Gently mixing with a wooden spoon, allowing the white sticky rice to bathe in flavorful broth, observe as it absorbs all the moisture and grow in size. Give it another bath, another quiet stir and watch it get fluffy with time. Risotto is not a weekday feast, unless you have ample time in hand to stand by the stove. It’s a heartening classy dish that fulfills your soul at every spoonful. It’s an art to prepare risotto and after numerous flopped shots, I can now gladly say that I am close.

For someone like me, who almost always chooses a quick meal that doesn’t call for slow cooking, I found it very tough to study the technique of risotto making. You cook it at a high heat and it will get mushy leaving the rice uncooked. You prepare it at a low heat, and the rice will get overcooked making it soggy.  Bleh!! The heat has to be just perfect. It was not easy to figure out the right temperature by reading recipes or watching videos. Every stove acts differently. One has to just figure it out by trial and error.


Ingredients for Peas and Asparagus Risotto | Playful Cooking


Peas and Asparagus Risotto | Playful Cooking


During those unsuccessful attempts, I also learned that risotto tastes best when not overloaded with flavors. Keep it simple, make it creamy and maintain that bite with separate grains. That’s the key.


I chose seasonal produce. Peas and asparagus always work together wonderfully. Both have a similar flavor profile, light on the palate, arrives in the market almost at the same time and both are gorgeous green in color. And let’s not forget how photogenic both these veggies are. I never get bored of photographing peas and asparagus.


Fresh Peas and Thin Asparagus | Playful Cooking


Fresh Peas | Playful Cooking


It was a perfect summer Sunday lunch. I was convinced when I saw Arvind nod as he gobbled couple spoonfuls. It’s his way of saying ‘good job’! The guy likes anything I prepare but that nod happens only when he really loves a dish. Let’s remember that a good risotto doesn’t demand a lot! It just needs your constant presence, your time and fresh ingredients.


Peas and Asparagus Risotto

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 2 as main course

Peas and Asparagus Risotto


  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, cut in half in length
  • 2 cups fresh peas
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • juice of half lemon
  • oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  • In a deep saucepan, bring the broth or water to boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and let it simmer.
  • Simultaneously, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wide pan and sauté garlic along with chopped leek for about 2 minutes. Make sure the heat is medium. Pour rice and give a stir to mix everything. Cook for a minute. Season with salt, pepper and next, add white wine. Give another mix and let it cook for 2 minutes.
  • Then, pour half cup of the warm broth on the pan and stir. Watch the bubbles. It shouldn’t bubble away too fast or too slow. Once you notice the broth is almost absorbed, add another half cup and give a stir. Continue this step until the rice looks cooked. Taste in between to check the rice. It should have a very light crunch when you bite it in but it shouldn't be too hard. It took me about 40 minutes.
  • Once the rice is almost done, add lemon juice, chopped asparagus and peas. If you are using fat asparagus and frozen peas, I would suggest blanching it before adding to the risotto. Since the ones I used were very tender, I added it directly to the risotto.
  • At the end, add butter and parmesan cheese. Stir and check for salt. Add any, if required. Serve immediately with little bit more parmesan cheese on top.


Peas and Asparagus Risotto | Playful Cooking

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Sarah says:

Spring vegetables in risotto are my favorite, and this looks like a stellar execution. Perfect food for the weekend.

I love spring vegetable risotto, the shades of green are so lovely!

This is one dish I’ve wanted to make ever since watching Masterchef, Nigella and Rachel Allen on TV. But the rice is the issue. Any idea if we can use other short grained rice?

Beautiful images. It looks beautifully creamy.

Looks so beautiful and tempting.. awesome presentation too!!

Rosa says:

A refined and delicious risotto! Yes, some dishes cannot be rushed through…

Amazing pictures! I particularly like this series.



Ash says:

I totally agree with you on patience with this dish. Really like how creamy it looks and especially with fresh peas, looks perfect. Simple and elegant.

Oh wow, this risotto looks absolutely divine! Perfect for the cold winter nights we are having here at the moment.

Risotto is one of my favorite things to make. This looks absolutely delicious – love that beautiful green color!

nusrat2010 says:

Feels like I’ve just read a soul-searching poem :) And your top picture left me baffled, speechless !

You’re such a beauty agent, Kankana. Probably you won a magic wand and a box full of fairy dust. (YES, your pictures are THAT lovely) :)

I never tried making risotto at home, but all these images alluring me to try my hand on this. I wish I can capture food like you do.

dixya says:

I am too intimidated by the thought of cooking risotto at home but reading your post, I am so inspired to spend my time perfecting the art of cooking. Your photos are beautiful as always

I don’t eat much pasta but that makes me hungry! It looks amazingly gorgeous and as always your photographs are appetizing!

Asha@FSK says:

lovely photos Kankana! I love your choice of font styles for each post. So fun and very unique! :)

Lovely pics as always. Have never tried a risotto but your pics are tempting me to try one soon. :)

This looks really amazing! Love the colors!

Kiran says:

All i want is risotto but I just can’t stomach parmesan cheese. Just can’t 😀

I love this light risotto with lots of green vegetables! Love that you put lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese on top. So good!

jehanne says:

time is whats lacking in my life these days, Kankana! Sigh..the risotto looks so comforting, I am a chicken when it comes to risotto admittedly, your photos are just breathtaking:-)

So so so beautiful! I just realised that I’ve got a few canvases which look like the background of your shots!!! I love Peas, I love Risotto – and with freshly grated Parmesan – this is muah:)

Great pictures, amazing recipe. Keep it up!