Brown Rice Risotto with Lemon and Fresh Peas

This version of risotto boasts a refreshing lemon tang complemented with seasonal spring and summer ingredients. Short grain brown rice gives this dish a slightly chewy texture and nuttier flavour than traditional risotto – a happy delight for tastebuds. Leftovers make for an appetizing lunch.

Brown Rice Risotto with Lemon and Fresh Peas

Makes 6 servings.


  • 6 cups (1.5L) gluten-free low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped shallots
  • 2 cups (500 mL) sliced mushrooms (shiitake, cremini or chanterelles)
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) U.S. short or medium grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) dry white wine
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh peas (or frozen peas, thawed)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh chopped parsley


  1. Heat the broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat to maintain a simmer.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the butter and oil over medium heat until butter is melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the 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.
  3. Add rice, stirring until all grains are coated and translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the wine, scraping any brown residue from the bottom of the pan and cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  4. Cook the rice, stirring often, and adding 1 cup (250 mL) 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 the rice is al dente, about 45 minutes. If needed, add up to 1 cup (250 mL) extra broth if rice is too thick. Stir in the peas with the last addition of broth.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the 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.

Add some chopped nuts to this simple vegetarian dish to boost protein.