Spring Risotto with Pea Tendrils


Spring Risotto with Pea Tendrils

A simple and elegant way to take advantage of the delicious, subtle flavors of pea tendrils that you can be lucky enough to find in the spring! There are many great options for a spring risotto but the pea tendrils are just sublime! A great dish to share with friends.
Keyword spring risotto
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Ian Wickman


  • 2 strips bacon (optional, skip for vegetarian version)
  • 1 each onion, small dice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup arborio rice (or other risotto rice)
  • 1/4 lb mushrooms, chopped (I prefer cremini)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (can use chicken if you prefer)
  • 1 cup peas (fresh if you can but frozen will work)
  • 4 oz pea tendrils, cut into 1/2 - 1 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 tbsp butter


  • In a medium saucepan cover and heat the stock gently so it remains hot but isn't boiling away.
  • Dice the onion into small bits. Chop the mushrooms and pea tendrils.
  • (Optional) Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat (any medium to large bottom pan with at least a few inches of rim will work) and cook the bacon until crispy.
  • (Optional) Set bacon aside on paper towel to drain. Chop into little bits when cool enough.
  • Turn heat down (or on) to medium, add olive oil if you didn't use bacon or if there isn't enough.
  • Add chopped onions and cook until soft, a minute or two.
  • Add rice and stir continuously to coat with oils, a minute or two. Be careful to avoid burning the rice.
  • Add mushrooms and stir to coat.
  • (Optional) Pour in the white wine and stir until it is completely absorbed.
  • Add heated stock 1 cup at a time and stir continuously until absorbed. Repeat until all stock is in.
  • Once the last cup of stock is in the risotto, during the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the peas and HALF the cut up pea tendrils. Stir to combine and continue cooking until stock is absorbed and risotto is the proper consistency (it should be loose enough to spread out a bit on a plate but not run all over).
  • Remove the pan from heat and stir in butter and 2/3 of the grated parmesan cheese (make sure you reserve some for sprinkling over the served risotto).
  • (Optional) Add chopped bacon and stir in.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve the risotto, sprinkle with a little grated parmesan and some of the cut pea tendrils.


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