Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saffron and Lemon Risotto with Peas

I go through periods when I'm sort of obsessed with a certain flavor or ingredient. Currently, that ingredient is saffron: I just want to put it in everything. Not only is it subtly exotic, fragrant and delicious, but it turns everything a cheerful, sunshiny yellow! I also love making risotto, because I actually welcome an excuse to slave over a hot stove for half an hour or so, especially if someone will hang out with me, put on some music and make drinks. I made this beautiful, yummy saffron and lemon risotto on a recent evening when the temperature outside was frigid (18 degrees in November: BRRRR!); we had it with a melange of roasted root veggies drizzled with aioli (for which I'll post my recipe once I rationalize the quantities and type it up), and it warmed us right up.

Saffron and Lemon Risotto with Peas

~ 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~ 1 tbsp. Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine)
~ 2 cups chopped yellow onions
~ 2 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 1 tsp. each salt, tarragon
~ Fresh black pepper to taste
~ 4 cups vegetable broth, heated to almost boiling with 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
~ 1/2 cup white wine
~ 1.5 cups arborio rice
~ Zest and juice of 1 lemon
~ 3/4 cup frozen baby peas

~ In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the EB and oil together over medium heat.
~ Add the onions and saute 5 minutes.
~ Add the garlic and seasonings and continue cooking another few minutes before adding the rice.
~ Stir thoroughly to coat the rice with the vegetables and seasonings.
~ Pour in the 1/2 cup white wine and stir to deglaze the pan; cook 2-3 minutes.
~ Begin adding the hot vegetable broth/saffron mixture by 1/2 cupfuls, stirring constantly until all the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
~ With the last addition of broth, add the lemon juice, zest and frozen peas. Once all the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat and allow to stand about 10 minutes before serving.


  1. I made this today for lunch! Its a really great recipe. I especially like the lemon at the end. When this was once upon a time an animal dish, the lemon was on the meat. Its great to find a recipe with great flavor and NO CRUELTY!!