Spring camping outdoors is always a variable adventure. Warm, sunny days can quickly be overcome by chilly nights, cold winds, or even spouts of rain. Despite the unpredictable elements, it’s truly a wonderful season to explore new landscapes.
Trails are often less crowded and the views of nature bursting to life are unmatched. On adventures like these, I still crave warm, comforting dishes at the end of a long day. But, I also want to load up on as many green veggies as I can.
This lemony risotto with spring greens is the perfect camp meal for early season outdoor adventures. The Italian rice is hearty, warm, and easy to cook up in a cast iron grill. Farm-fresh asparagus, peas, chives, and leeks provide a lush seasonal vegetable ensemble, while the lemony mascarpone and parmesan add bursts of flavor into every bite. These ingredients, in addition to flavorful bone broth is what elevates a relatively simple dish to the next level. It also pairs seamlessly with this Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken.
- Tips on How to Cook Risotto Outdoors -
One of my favorite things about risotto is that it’s a breeze to cook outdoors. I recommend doing a little prep work at home before leaving town so you have even less to think about when cooking (and more time to spend socializing over the pit).
You’ll want to blanch the asparagus at home by tossing the spears into boiling water for 2-3 minutes until they are bright green. When that time is up, immediately place them into an ice bath to halt the cooking process. To make camp cooking easier, I also recommend zesting 1-2 lemons in advance and pre-slicing the leeks and garlic.
When it comes to measuring at camp, I typically opt for an estimation rather than aim for exactitude: a six-count pour of white wine will do just fine, and one whole carton of bone broth is all that’s needed.
At the end of the day, you should be having a great time in nature, not fretting over the food.
This is a truly delicious spring recipe that will help you do just that.
Lemony Risotto with Spring Greens
Serving: 4-6 | Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 30-35 min | Total Time: 45 min
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 3 leeks, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 4-5 cups bone broth (sub for vegetable stock for vegetarian)
- 1 pound thin asparagus, blanched and cut into 3 inch lengths
- 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup Mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving
- Heat 30-40 coals in a coal starter
- When the coals are mostly white, pour them onto the tray of the All-in-One Grill. Place the cast iron grill wok over the coals to preheat for a few minutes.
- Melt butter in the wok, then add garlic and leeks to sauté.
- Stir in salt, red pepper flakes, and freshly ground pepper.
- Cover with lid and cook until tender; about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir to coat each grain with the leeks and butter.
- Add the white wine and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed; about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the bone broth, stir to combine, then cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
- When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, add the cut asparagus, peas, and lemon zest. Stir to combine then cover.
- When the risotto is tender and has absorbed the stock, stir in the lemon juice, Mascarpone, chives, and Parmesan.
- Remove from heat and serve with extra chives and parmesan as garnish.
Brianne Dela Cruz is a master gardener, wild forager, campfire foodie, and acclaimed writer and photographer. From her home in Salt Lake City, she teaches online gardening and foraging courses for modern folks and budding naturalists as well as hosts seasonal community gatherings. Brianne's blog and online school, Gather & Grow, is a community of folks exploring the intersection between nature and personal growth by discovering ways to slow down and nourish themselves with nature.