Side Dish Recipe: Citrusy Vegetable Risotto


Although risotto takes some diligence when making it, the steps you use are relatively simple. Another terrific facet of risotto, similar to other rice dishes, is that it's extremely versatile in the ingredients you can add to it. You can get away with adding only one vegetable to risotto, but this asparagus side dish recipe elevates the flavors by adding some additional tasty vegetables and a touch of fresh lemon.


1. Trim the asparagus stalks by bending them at the end and snapping at the bend. For tenderer asparagus, peel the outer layers of the stalks with a vegetable peeler.

2. Cut the asparagus stalks into one-inch pieces.

3. Trim the ends off the snap peas and cut in half.

4. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the asparagus and snap peas. Cook for about three minutes and drain. Set the vegetables aside.

5. Trim the ends off of the zucchini and squash. Cut vegetables in half lengthwise, then cut into half-inch slices.

6. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet or sauté pan set to medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the squash and zucchini. Stir frequently and sauté for about five minutes until the vegetables begin to brown. Drain the vegetables on a paper towel and add to the asparagus and snap peas.

7. Add the vegetable stock to a saucepot set to medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. Reduce the broth to low heat until needed.

8. Peel and dice the shallots. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and heat on medium-high. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the diced shallots. Cook for about three minutes until translucent.

9. Add the rice and stir frequently. Cook for about one minute until the rice is coated with the oil.

10. Add the white wine and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Once the wine absorbs into the rice, begin adding the broth. Start with one cup and stir until the broth is absorbed. Add the broth in half-cup amounts until the rice stops absorbing the broth. Reserve one-fourth cup of the broth.

11. Add the vegetables and stir well.

12. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir again.

13. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the rice, making sure to catch any seeds.

14. Add the butter, salt and ground black pepper and stir well. Serve warm.


  • 12 asparagus stalks
  • Two cups of sugar snap peas
  • Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Two zucchinis
  • Two yellow squashes
  • Six pints of organic vegetable broth
  • Two shallots
  • Two cups of uncooked Arborio rice
  • One-half cup of dry white wine
  • One cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • One lemon
  • Two tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • One half teaspoon of salt
  • One half teaspoon of ground black pepper