Green Risotto




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With the promise of spring waiting for us just around the corner, it can be nice to celebrate the earliest of spring veggies in anticipation: asparagus, snow peas, young green onions, sping herbs. (If you make this in April or May, you can use fresh garden ingredients.) This risotto recipe uses these harbingers of spring, and continues the "green" them by throwing in some avocado for good measure!

Preparation (Serves 2)

In a large pot, bring at least six cups of water to a gentle simmer, and drop in fresh sprigs of parsley, thyme, mint, and whatever other brightly-scented herbs you have available.

Green galore!

Prepare the following, and set out on your cutting board or counter where they can be easily reached

1 large, ripe avocado, cubed
2-3 green onions, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup snow peas, sugar snap peas, coarsely chopped (or frozen peas)
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
viola flowers, for garnish

Cooking the Risotto

In a medium size pan, combine one cup of arborio rice with a cup or so of the simmering herb broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat, adding one or two ladels of broth at a time, and letting it all absorb or steam off before adding more. Eventually, the rice will become very creamy and sticky, like a porridge or rice pudding. Taste as you go along. Some people like a little chewiness left to the individual rice grains; others prefer a softer risotto. It's your preference. The process takes about 20-40 minutes, depending on cooking temperature and the rice you use. When the risotto is nearly done, add the green vegetables and stir a minute or so more to ensure that everything is uniformly warm. Add some salt and pepper if you like. Dish onto plates and garnish with the viola flowers.


Risotto is delicious comfort food and fun to make, but the traditional cooking method described here does keep you at the stove, stirring pretty much constantly, for some time. Use the opportunity to cultivate a Zen-like patience. It then becomes a spiritual meal.

Grated parmiggiano or other hard cheese is traditionally added to risotto at the end, but in this recipe the avocado takes its place.

Ingredient Corner

Arborio rice is a short-grained Italian rice that cooks up starchy and sticky. Do not use regular long-grained or basmati rice for this recipe, since it will not produce the creamy texture that defines a true risotto.

From the Hearth is a regular feature of Starweaver's Gems from Earth and Sky

Copyright © 2008 Tom Waters