Risotto Recipe with Ham, Peas, Feta and Tarragon
This flavorful, comforting risotto recipe is perfect for early spring, when you're getting tired of wintery meals but the weather isn't cooperating and those coveted fresh green vegetables are still just glints in their mothers' eyes.
Risotto is way less finicky than you've heard, promise. Don't stress about perfection.
An easy, comforting risotto recipe
Um. Happy spring. Right? It’s the same-ish every year in New Jersey. Nothing but hopes and dreams where both the weather and all those elusive spring vegetables are concerned. In reality it’s wintry mix and frozen peas and a dull reawakening of expectations and longings. Maybe one day we’ll be worthy of asparagus or, if I may be so bold, strawberries. Today is not that day.
Nope, on this second day of spring, we have to make our own fun. And our fun has to double as comfort. Luckily as a seasoned head-of-household and veteran food blogger I am ah-MAH-zing at this and happy to share it.
Risotto for a weeknight or a party
You could serve this to the family on a weeknight, or for a small dinner party, or even as a first course on Easter. It aims to please. With ham and peas.
I should go.
Talk to you soon.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 6 ounces cooked ham steak, diced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 10 ounces frozen peas
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a 12-inch nonstick pan or shallow Dutch oven, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, about five minutes. Stir in the rice and cook, still stirring frequently, for one minute. Add the ham and cook one minute more.
- Add the wine and cook, stirring almost constantly, until nearly absorbed. Lower heat to medium if necessary to prevent any hint of burning. Then begin adding the broth by the cupful (or so), stirring frequently throughout. Continue adding broth as the rice absorbs it. Add a big sprinkle of salt if your broth isn't salty. Stir in the peas with the last addition of broth. Risotto is finished cooking when each grain of rice is tender but still has a nice hint of chewy bite, and there's a little bit of delicious starchy broth remaining. (Keep in mind that the broth will thicken as you add the cheeses and let the risotto rest for a few minutes after cooking.)
- Off the heat, stir in the cheeses and tarragon and taste for salt and pepper. Let the risotto rest for about five minutes before spooning into wide, shallow bowls to serve.