As I’ve written about recently, John and I are committed to eating more seasonally this year. If you want to save money and get the freshest and best tasting picks of the season, the best way to do so is by taking a stroll through your local farmers’ market. Ours just re-opened this past Sunday! You’ll be thrilled at the variety of produce in season every month.
This post is inspired by Shari’s Berries — They reached out after reading about the springtime meals I’ve been making and shared a helpful chart which shows what fruits are in season. Check out the handy chart below and keep reading for a new springtime risotto recipe plus some Shari’s Berries coupons!
Since asparagus and peas also happen to be in season right now, I created another recipe featuring these two key ingredients. The key is to purchase fresh peas, not frozen. I found mine at drumroll… Trader Joe’s (no surprise there since we’re huge TJ’s fans!) Even my mom who notoriously hates peas raved about this meal! Unfortunately, we (including Grant) ate the entire dish so I didn’t take any pictures. Instead, here’s a picture of Grant already excited for next year’s March Madness…
To create my springtime oven based risotto (1000x easier and faster than regular stovetop risotto) I used this Bon Appetit recipe for a starting point but didn’t make the pesto (though it looks good so maybe I’ll do this next time!). Instead I added fresh green peas and asparagus to take advantage of the Spring produce selection, using this Cookie + Kate recipe for inspiration.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 3/4 cups hot water, divided
- 1 big bunch of fresh asparagus spears
- 1½ cups fresh English peas
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Pinch cayenne pepper, to taste
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Handful chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Put oven rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. (This is the Dutch oven I use and love.) Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add in chopped garlic and cook another minute or so. (Mine cooked a lot longer over low heat because I heard a small voice go “uh oh” and found a whole container of water spilled on the floor. So after cleaning up the water, I added in the rice…) Stir in rice, seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir continually until grains are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add wine and bring to a simmer. Let rice cook until Dutch oven is almost dry, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups hot water and bring to a simmer. Cover pot and bake in oven until liquid is almost absorbed but rice is still starchy, about 15 minutes (it should be undercooked).
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Keep asparagus in pot and add in fresh peas. Cook for 1 more minute once water returns to a boil. Drain and set aside.
Return Dutch oven to stove over medium heat. Add ¾ cup hot water and cook rice, stirring constantly, until it is tender but still has some bite, about 3 minutes. Stir in butter, Parmesan, and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir in asparagus and peas. Squeeze juice of lemon into risotto and add in parsley right before serving.
Lastly, as promised, Shari’s Berries has some awesome coupons to take advantage of this month, just in time to order a tasty gift for an Easter surprise!
(Note: I did not receive any compensation from Shari’s Berries in exchange for this post. I just found their fruit chart very helpful and informative!)