Seasonal vegetarian risotto

  • medium
  • 6
  • 1 hour 30 minutes

Pierre Koffmann's vegetarian risotto recipe produces a simple yet delicious dish, and is endlessly adaptable depending on what vegetables are in season at the time. Parmesan contains animal rennet, so to make the dish strictly vegetarian simply swap out the cheese for a similar vegetarian equivalent.

First published in 2015




Vegetable stock



  • Cheesecloth
  • Chinois


To begin, make the vegetable stock. Add the water to a pan, bring to the boil and add the vegetables and salt. Pour in the wine, return to the boil and add all of the herbs and spices. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes
Once cooled, refrigerate - the stock will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Strain through a chinois lined with cheesecloth before using (or a regular sieve for a less clear result)
To make the risotto, measure out 1 litre of the strained stock and place in a pan over a low heat. In another large, heavy-based pan, heat the oil and add the onion, red pepper and garlic. Fry gently for around 3 minutes, stirring often so that everything softens without browning
Add the rice, stirring to coat the grains in oil, and gently fry until translucent. Add the wine (if desired) and allow to cook, stirring constantly until the wine has been absorbed by the rice
Add one ladleful of the hot stock to the rice, stirring constantly until absorbed completely. Add a second ladleful of stock, followed by the carrots. Depending on how tender you would like the carrots to be, you can add them before or after this step
Keep adding the stock by the ladleful, stirring until the liquid has been absorbed before adding another. Add the asparagus (or courgettes) with the last ladleful, then keep cooking until the rice is tender but with a slight bite. Season to taste and stir in the peas
Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and Parmesan and place a lid on the pan. Leave to stand for 5 minutes to melt the butter and cheese, then mix thoroughly. Divide the risotto between bowls, garnish with edible flowers and Parmesan shavings and serve immediately
First published in 2015

Pierre Koffmann's cooking is undeniably refined; classical yet humble, with provincial French touches grounding the skilful elegance of the food. Taking inspiration from his Gascon roots, Pierre artfully extracts extraordinary flavour from ordinary ingredients and cuts.

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