Recipe: Nadia Lim’s Spring Risotto

This fresh risotto is bursting with veggies and herbs that can be plucked straight from the garden. 

Recipe: Extract from Nadia: A Seasonal Journal  Photo: Isabella Harrex

You can use a range of alternative spring vegetables in this risotto, such as snow peas, podded broad beans, chopped purple sprouting broccoli or broccolini, baby spinach or kale leaves and peas (fresh or frozen). Also consider swapping out the leek and celery for other veg such as onion or fennel.

Makes: 4 serves
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes


50g butter
1 leek, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1.5L vegetable stock
2 cups arborio rice
½ cup white wine (or use extra vegetable stock plus 1 tablespoon white wine or cider vinegar)
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 4cm lengths
150g sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved
2 courgettes, thinly sliced
½ cup finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
100g hot-smoked salmon (or use ½ cup chopped roasted hazelnuts for a vegetarian option)
1 cup fresh herbs (e.g. dill, parsley, fennel fronds, mint, chives, basil)


Heat a good drizzle of olive oil and half the butter in a large heavy-based pan or frying pan over medium heat. Add leek, celery and garlic and cook for 6 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, pour stock into another pot over high heat, bring to a simmer, then turn off. Add the rice to the pan with the leeks and cook for 5 minutes until the rice is just starting to toast, stirring often.

Stir in the white wine and cook for 1 minute until evaporated. Next, stir in the stock, one ladleful at a time, only adding another ladleful when the last one has been absorbed. Continue stirring the risotto.

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When all stock is used up and rice is al dente (it still has a bit of bite), stir in the asparagus, sugar snap peas and courgettes; cook for 1-2 minutes until vegetables are tender. Finally, add remaining butter and parmesan. Season to taste with salt and lots of freshly cracked pepper.

Spoon onto plates or into bowls and top with salmon or hazelnuts, extra parmesan and herbs.

This is an extract from the spring edition of Nadia: A Seasonal Journal. This quarterly publication from celebrity chef Nadia Lim offers tips and tricks on how to grow vegetables and fruits at home, cook nutritious and tasty dishes, plus projects inspired by Nadia’s life on a farm.

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