03/21/2012 04:23 EDT | Updated 05/21/2012 05:12 EDT

Spring Time Dishes: Lemon And Pea Brown Rice Risotto (RECIPE)
This version of risotto boasts a refreshing lemon tang complemented with seasonal spring ingredients. Short-grain brown rice gives this dish a slightly chewy texture and nuttier flavour than traditional risotto.

Add some chopped nuts to this simple vegetarian dish to boost the protein content, if desired.

Risotto With Lemon

1.5 l (6 cups) low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (approx)

30 ml (2 tbsp) butter

30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

125 ml (1/2 cup) finely chopped shallots

500 ml (2 cups) sliced mushrooms (shiitake, cremini or chanterelles)

Salt and pepper, to taste

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) short- or medium-grain brown rice

125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine

250 ml (1 cup) fresh peas (or frozen peas, thawed)

15 ml (1 tbsp) grated lemon zest

125 ml (1/2 cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

50 ml (1/4 cup) fresh chopped parsley

In a medium saucepan over medium, heat broth to maintain a simmer.

In large saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium until butter is melted, about 1 minute. Stir in shallots and cook until translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add rice, stirring until all grains are coated and translucent around edges, about 3 minutes. Add wine, scraping any brown residue from bottom of the pan, and cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Cook rice, stirring often, and adding 250 ml (1 cup) of the simmering broth at a time (stirring until almost all the broth has been absorbed before adding more — this is what produces the creamy texture) until rice is al dente, about 45 minutes. If needed, add up to 250 ml (1 cup) extra broth if rice is too thick.

Stir in peas with last addition of broth.

Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, Parmesan and parsley. Let sit covered for 10 minutes before serving in warmed bowls or plates with additional Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 360 calories; 10 g protein; 13 g total fat (5 g saturated fat); 50 g carbohydrate; 5 g fibre; 15 mg cholesterol; 350 mg sodium.

Source: USA Rice Federation,