Ina Garten's Spring Green Risotto

Made Famous By:  Ina Garten

I want to dedicate this post to my angel Mother.  She is the most amazing Mom anyone could ever ask for.  No matter what my siblings and I choose to do she is right there by our side 200%.  Some examples are Mary Kay, Cutco, Esthetician school, Beachbody (Shakeology), education, and now my food blog just to name a few.  When I was doing Mary Kay she bought a ton of make-up that she probably didn’t even need.  When my brother was selling Cutco knives she bought at least 2 full sets of knives.  She has supported all of us in pursuing education.  I could go on…
Now that I have really been dedicating time to my blog she spends hours with me cooking and more hours taking hundreds of photos and lends me her beautiful dishes to photograph with.  I could only hope to be a Mother like she is.  I love you 15 Mom!!

This dish symbolizes the transition of the seasons perfectly.  It has the brightness of summer and the richness of fall.  The reason I call Ina Garten the Queen Goddess of Cooking is well, she IS, and because all of her dishes really “taste”.  

By that I mean they are all full of flavor no matter what the dish is.  When I am eating I don’t like something to kind of taste like what it is supposed to.  I REALLY REALLY like the flavors to be well developed and bold.  No matter what it is.  Ina does this with effortless grace.

Spring Green Risotto
1 1/2 TBS Good Olive Oil
1 1/2 TBS Unsalted Butter
3 Cups Chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1 Cup Chopped Fennel
1 1/2 Cups Arborio Rice
1 1/2 Cups Dry White Wine
4 to 5 Cups Simmering Chicken Stock
1 Pound Thin Asparagus
10 oz Frozen Peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups Shelled Fresh Peas
1 TBS Freshly Grated Lemon Zest (2 Lemons)
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 TBS Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Mascarpone Cheese, preferably Italian
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese, plus extra for serving
3 TBS Minced Fresh Chives, plus extra for serving

Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender.  Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter.  Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed.  Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more.  This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends.   Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente.  Drain and cool immediately in ice water.  (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)

When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper.  Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.

Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl.  When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives.  Set aside off the heat for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.

**Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cook book by Ina Garten.  Do your self a favor and go buy it now!!  Every single recipe is AMAZING!!**


  1. I love your blog. I hope my daughter grows up just like you. I will support her till my death too and even beyond, perhaps if I could. I am sure your mom is super proud!
    Love your dish as well!

  2. This dish looks absolutely fantastic! I have a craving for risotto today so I'm actually going to try this for lunch. Thank you!

  3. How was it for lunch Anda?? I hope you loved it as much as I did. :)

    Thank you so much Anna! Your daughter is lucky to have a Mom like you!!!

  4. My mom was just like that. I miss her so much especially when I need encouragement. My boyfriend just asked me to make him risotto and I will definitely be trying this one. Thanks!

  5. This looks delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at



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