This recipe provides a really delicious and creamy way to eat fresh seasonal vegetables and unlike many risotto recipes it does not take hours to cook! The saffron adds a hint of color and exotic flavor to the vegetables in this risotto recipe.


  • 2 cups shelled fava beans (about 1½ pounds unshelled)
  • ½ cup fresh green peas
  • 4 cups homemade or good quality chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup uncooked Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • ⅛ teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 8 oz. thin asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Makes 6 servings.


  1. Cook beans in boiling water 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Remove tough outer skins from beans; discard skins.
  2. Cook peas in boiling water 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well.
  3. Bring chicken stock to a simmer, not a boil, in a small pan. Keep warm over low heat.
  4. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots and carrot to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add rice and saffron; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 30 seconds or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup stock; cook 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Stir in fava beans, peas, and asparagus with last addition of stock. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.

(Source: Adapted from Cooking Light.)

Barbara Walch joined the staff of Plano Profile in August 1986 and currently serves as Food Editor and Associate Publisher, Community Relations. In addition to writing Dining In, a monthly food feature,...