Pea, Mint & Asparagus Risotto

pea mint & asparagus risotto

Brighten up your week with peas, mint & asparagus stirred through a risotto that’s warming but light.

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(Serves 2)


  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 large leek
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 150 g arborio rice
  • 175 g frozen peas
  • 250 g asparagus
  • 10 g fresh chives
  • 15 g fresh mint
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon
  • 30 g hard Italian cheese


1. Fry your leeks

Tip 900ml of water into a medium saucepan, crumble in 1 stock cube and place over a medium heat – this will be for the risotto later.

Cut 1 leek in half lengthwise, give it a wash under running water, then cut each half crosswise at ½ cm intervals.

Place another medium saucepan over a medium heat and pour in 2 tbsp of oil. Chuck in the leeks and a pinch of salt and fry for 5-6 minutes, until soft. Peel and mince 3 cloves of garlic while you wait.

Chuck the garlic into the pan and continue to fry everything for a further 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

2. Get the risotto on

Tip in 150g of rice and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, until it starts to smell nutty – be careful as the garlic can catch and burn.

Pour 200ml of the stock into the rice, bring it to a boil and stir for 5-7 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice starts to stick together.

Pour in another 200ml of the stock. Simmer again for 5-7 minutes, still stirring, until the second batch of liquid has been absorbed and the rice starts to stick together again.

3. Simmer down

Tip the remaining stock into the rice. You may not need to use up all of your stock mixture – every brand of rice differs a little so if in doubt add just a little extra at a time and cook to your preferred texture.

Simmer for a final 10-15 minutes, making sure to stir every 1-2 minutes, until you can run a spoon through the rice and see the bottom of the pan for about a second before it covers itself over again. Cook your greens while you wait.

4. Cook your greens

Tip 175g of peas into a large mixing bowl. Remove the woody ends from the stalks of 250g of asparagus. The woody ends can be used to flavour stocks and soups so don’t throw them away.

Chuck the asparagus tips in with the peas and a small splash of water, then cover the bowl with cling film.

Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, until the veg is soft but still has a slight bite. Cooking times may vary depending on the model of microwave. While you wait, finely chop 10g of chives and 10g of the mint. Chuck them into a small mixing bowl.

Transfer the asparagus from the bowl to a plate ready for later, then use a potato masher or fork to mash the peas with a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper until semi-smooth. Set the bowl aside and make your dressing.

5. Make your dressing

Dollop 1 tsp of mustard into the bowl with the herbs, then finely grate in the zest of 1 lemon and squeeze in its juice.

Pour in 2 tbsp of oil, then beat everything together with a fork. Season to taste with salt.

6. Serve

Once the risotto is ready, grate in 20g of the cheese, tip in the mashed peas, then fold everything together.

Divide the risotto between 2 serving bowls. Sprinkle over the reserved cheese, then place the asparagus from earlier on top. Drizzle over the dressing and tuck into your bowl of spring.

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