Verde Risotto


This risotto is heavier on the vegetables, completely vegan, and gluten-free.

Verde Risotto in bowl with utensils
Photo: Aya Brackett
Total Time:
1 hrs
8 cups


  • 6 cup vegetable stock

  • 2 cup packed fresh basil leaves

  • 2 cup packed baby spinach

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 8 ounce fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (1 cup)

  • 1 cup frozen quartered artichoke hearts

  • 1 cup fresh English peas

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 ½ cup arborio rice

  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded (2 cups)

  • Spinach leaves and/or halved cherry tomatoes


  1. In large saucepan bring vegetable stock just to boiling; reduce heat to a simmer. Fill a large bowl half full with ice water. Plunge fresh basil into simmering stock. Using tongs, immediately transfer basil to ice bath to cool. Remove basil from ice bath, shaking off excess water.

  2. For pesto, in blender or food processor combine basil, the 2 cups spinach, garlic, 1/4 cup of the oil, vinegar, and 1/4 tsp. of the kosher salt. Cover and blend until pesto mixture is smooth.

  3. Add asparagus to simmering stock; cook about 1 minute or until bright green and barely tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to ice bath. Remove from ice bath; set aside. Add artichokes to stock; cook 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer artichokes to ice bath. Remove and set aside. Add peas to stock; cook 30 seconds. Transfer to ice bath with slotted spoon; drain.

  4. In a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven or large pot heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and remaining 1/4 tsp. kosher salt; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add rice; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until rice is translucent. Start adding stock to the rice, 1 cup at a time, while continuously stirring with a wooden spoon. As stock is absorbed, add another cup. Continue cooking and adding stock until all of the stock is absorbed and the rice is creamy and tender. (This should take about 20 minutes.) Add zucchini, pesto, and cooked vegetables to the rice the last 2 minutes. Serve topped with fresh spinach leaves and halved cherry tomatoes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

259 Calories
14g Fat
29g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 259
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Sodium 504mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 21.5mg 108%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 3.2mg 18%
Potassium 267mg 6%
Folate, total 78.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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