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Lemon and pea risotto recipe


What if I told you that learning to make risotto is nothing more than a con game? Would you believe me? Well, it's true. "Con" stands for confidence, and that's the secret to great risotto. Confidence, and knowing that you need to stop cooking while there is still a bit of liquid in the pan. One success and you will never fear risotto again! And the best part is that almost all risotto is made exactly the same way, give or take a mix-in ingredient here or there. So, when you can make one, you can make them all. This lemon and pea risotto strikes a bright balance between the rich rice and the tart citrus, and if you don't like peas, go ahead and substitute asparagus.


Lemon and pea risotto

From the pantry, you'll need: chicken broth, unsalted butter, arborio or carnaroli rice, onion, lemons, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Serves 4.


5 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1-1/2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 2 lemons
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup fresh peas or defrosted frozen peas
1/4 cup half-and-half (or 2 Tbsp butter)
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Bring the broth to a steady simmer in a saucepan on top of the stove, or in the microwave.

In a heavy 4-quart pot, heat the butter and oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the rice, and stir to coat the grains. Remove pan from the heat; add lemon juice and wine, and stir (be careful, the liquid might splatter when it goes into the pan). Return the pan to the burner. When the liquid is mostly absorbed, begin adding stock, 1 cup at a time, waiting for each to absorb almost entirely before adding more.

When you add the final cup of stock, add the peas.  When the liquid is almost absorbed, remove the pan from heat and stir in the half-and-half or butter, and cheese. Serve hot.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Risotto with shrimp and asparagus
Risotto alla Milanese
Three mushroom risotto
Green herb risotto
Vegetable paella with garlic sauce
Paella a la Valenciana

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Almond vanilla rice pudding, from Smitten Kitchen
Butternut squash risotto, from Simply Recipes
Inspired breakfast risotto, from Healthy. Happy. Life.
Roasted tomato and corn risotto, from Herbivoracious
Shellfish risotto, from Ciao Florentina

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


This looks excellent! I just made risotto for the first time this week. I'm already looking forward to making it again.

I agree that confidence has a lot to do with it!!

That's a great point Lydia. This looks so perfect.

I saw your link on Facebook and had to run over here and get the recipe!!

I can taste it!! This is now in my permanent collection of "Lydia's Recipes"

This looks lovely. I do enjoy the taste of lemon with the fresh green vegetables of spring. I used to make risotto a lot on my electric stove, and yearned for the day when I could really control the heat from a gas flame. Now, I've had a gas stove for a year or more, and haven't made a single batch of risotto!

I've never made risotto, but it does sound fantastic!

LOVE lemon anything and rice and cheese!!
Do you know that frozen peas were the only veggie my husband ate when I met him? he has since expanded his horizons.

I love that analogy! I am going to use that one...at work!

Love the lemon/rice combo. Lovely dish Lydia!

Barefeet, practice makes perfect (risotto, that is), so try this recipe now that you know how to make it!

Bellini, Maris, Chris: confidence is everything, isn't it?

Pam, I bet you'll like this one. Such a bright lemon flavor.

Pauline, I know for sure that you'll love this.

TW, you can mix in some of the wonderful vegetables you get from your CSA -- how about lemon and spinach, or lemon and kale?

Kalyn, never too late to start. It's a great recipe to make when you're having company.

Carol, so nice that you have "improved" your husband!

Making this tonight! With the asparagus option. And that is lemon zest on top in the picture, right? It's not in the recipe but if I'm juicing lemons I'm sure as hell using the zest too.
Risotto was actually one of the first things I learned to cook well. I never got why it was supposed to be scary, it's just take time.

Rianne, lemon zest is not in the recipe; I used some for garnish, so you surely can do that too! I agree, it's not scary at all, but it just takes patience.

I'll have to try adding lemon the next time I'm making risotto - especially my celery with baby shrimp version.

I love making risotto. My fav is to add some thawed winter squash to the chicken stock. delish! After seeing this recipe it made me think that adding garlic scapes from the farm market might be good too! I just discovered them and I want to try them in EVERYTHING! Last night was grilled pizza. Wow - that was a tangent if ever I saw one but thanks for the idea for 2 new risottos!

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