Rey Vakili's Risotto Verde With Peas, Spinach, and Parsley

Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favourite home cooks. For this instalment, Rey Vakili shares her recipe for a vibrant risotto verde that's perfect for summer.

Risotto is adored for its richness, versatility, and deliciously heartwarming taste. And while this creamy classic may have a reputation for being tricky to make, Rey Vakili's flavour-packed take on the Northern Italian staple is straightforward and won't disappoint. 

Here, she utilises Arborio rice, butter, and Parmigiano-Reggiano combined with fresh peas, spinach, and parsley. The result? A risotto verde that embraces the creaminess we love and that is brought to life with greenery that adds vibrancy and freshness. It's most delicious when the broth is high-quality and the rice has a good bite. 

It's the perfect vegetarian recipe for a hearty lunch or an ideal dinner party dish. Whichever occasion you choose to serve it, this fresh take on a beloved classic is sure to become a favourite and cause a stir with guests.

Serves 3-4 

Ingredients

  • 1 litre vegetable stock 
  • 1 cup Arborio rice 
  • 120 g baby leaf spinach (1 packet)
  • 250 g fresh peas (2 packets)
  • Handful of pea shoots
  • 75 g butter
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup Parmigiana-Reggiano or Pecorino grated
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley 
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup dry white wine

Method

In a deep sauté pan, melt 25 grams of salted butter and some olive and sauté one finely chopped onion for seven minutes or so until translucent and soft but not coloured.

Add 1 cup of risotto rice and leave to cook for a few minutes until the grains turn translucent on the outside. 

Pour ½ cup of dry white wine and cook for a few minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the alcoholic scent has cooked off. Keep stirring the rice the whole time.

Bring your stock to a simmer (you don’t want to lower the temperature of the rice) and add one ladleful of liquid to the pan.

Allow the stock to be absorbed into the rice before adding another ladle, one ladle at a time. Keep stirring. Work the stock into the risotto. It will take about 20 minutes for all your stock to be absorbed.

Add one crushed garlic to the pot and work into rice with salt to taste (not too much as we will add cheese later).

Now prepare your verde puree.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch your spinach for about 1 minute.

Drain and leave to cool a bit.

Blanch your peas for about 30 seconds.

Add your spinach, most of your peas (reserve some to add at the end) and a handful of parsley to a food processor.

Add a ladleful of stock, a pinch of salt and half a garlic glove.

Puree the peas spinach and parsley with stock until smooth and creamy. 

Now add it altogether!

Mix the puree into the risotto and keep stirring.

Add your remaining whole peas in and stir.

Add 50 grams of cold butter to the risotto and allow it to melt into the rice.

Add ¾ cup of grated parmesan and mix through. 

Take risotto off heat and plate, serve with some pea shoots and a grating of parmesan cheese. 

Shop Rey's look with our Olive tableclothSage & Olive Scalloped placemats, Sage & Olive Scalloped napkins, and Bed Threads ceramic dinner plates.

For more from Rey, follow her at @reyvakili

Photography by Alisha Gore, Styling by Audrey Won.

Hungry for more? Explore more recipes from our favourite home cooks here. 

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