Risotto primavera with parsley pesto

Risotto primavera with parsley pesto

Okay, so I know it’s completely ridiculous to post a recipe called ‘risotto primavera’ slap bang in the middle of winter, considering ‘primavera’ means spring, but I hope you’ll join me in completely ignoring that fact. If I have the ingredients for something in the fridge, I’m going to make it, seasons be damned.

If you can’t bring yourself to make a primavera dish in January, file this away until March.

Risotto primavera with parsley pesto

‘Primavera’ usually refers to a pasta dish, but this time I decided to make risotto instead. According to Wikipedia (where I do about 98% of my research), it basically contains a load of vegetables… and that seems to be the entire definition. The exact vegetables in a primavera dish can vary, so I went for broccoli, courgette and green beans.

I know it’s generally best to eat a colourful diet, but sometimes it’s pretty satisfying to look down at your dinner plate and just see green. I feel very grown up for eating so many green vegetables. It helps that despite the standard child’s view of green vegetables, this risotto is packed with flavour from the parsley pesto, and since the vegetables are sautéed instead of boiled, they’re far from limp and overcooked. If you’re still not convinced by green veg, try it and then think again.

Risotto primavera with parsley pesto

Risotto primavera with parsley pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main meal
Yield: 2
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced or slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 150g courgette (one medium), halved lengthwise then sliced
  • 100g green beans, cut into inch-long pieces
  • 100g broccoli, cut into fairly small florets
  • 175g arborio rice
  • ~800ml hot vegetable stock
  • 3tbsp pine nuts
  • 3tbsp fresh parsley
  • 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan or wok, and add all of the vegetables (onion to broccoli). Stir fry over a medium heat for around 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and the broccoli is just tender.
  2. Remove the vegetables from the pan, and set aside.
  3. Add the rice to the pan (no need to clean the pan), and after a minute or so, begin to add the hot stock a couple of ladlefuls at a time. Stirring regularly, cook the rice over a medium heat until most of the stock has been absorbed, and then add another couple of ladlefuls. Continue doing this until the rice is cooked.
  4. While the rice is cooking, prepare your quick parsley pesto. Add the pine nuts to a mini food processor, and blitz to form a coarse crumb. Add the parsley and olive oil, and blitz again to create your pesto.
  5. When the rice is just about cooked, return your vegetables to the pan, and add the parsley pesto (retain a little for drizzling over the top if desired). Season generously with black pepper.
  6. When the vegetables have been reheated thoroughly, serve the risotto topped with any remaining pesto, a few extra pine nuts (if you have any), and a drizzle of olive oil.

Risotto primavera with parsley pesto

If you’re looking for more vegetarian risotto recipes, try my creamy avocado risotto:

Avocado risotto


  1. Dan says

    I tried your avo risotto and it was mad tasty, so this one’s definitely a go. Think this will work without the green beans? I’m not crazy about them.

  2. says

    Yay, I remember you saying you were also doing a primavera when I posted my tortellini primavera the other day. I am w/ you w/ the fresh veggies in the middle of winter, I get sick of eating so heavy all the time! This looks great . I love the addition of pine nuts!
    christine recently posted…Sesame Chicken Couscous BowlMy Profile

  3. says

    This looks absolutely gorgeous, whatever season you’re in! I especially like the idea of the parsley pesto, as I have a garden full of it. And I think it’s very restrained of you to offer a risotto sans cheese – have you ever tried that vegan trick of substituting brewer’s yeast flakes for Parmesan? They have a similar umami-ish flavour profile. The trick is not to think of it as a Parmesan substitute, but another, different-but-similar, flavour!
    The Kitchenmaid recently posted…Random recipe: Russian SaladMy Profile

  4. says

    Mmmm… your photographs are making my mouth water! I just love Risotto! I just pinned to my food board; can’t wait to try the recipe! Thanks a bunch for sharing, and have a great week :o)

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