Spring Garlic Risotto

by Kirsten on April 30, 2011 · 22 comments

in Main Dishes, Misc. Savory Dishes

On my visit to Boulder this week my blogger friend Toni, the  Boulder Locavore, gave me some spring garlic that she had purchased at a local farm, the Red Wagon Organic Farm. I had read that Spring Garlic, also known as green garlic, baby garlic or garlic shoots is a “culinary secret”. It is a garlic plant that hasn’t developed its garlic bulb and has a much milder flavor than the mature bulbs, but still has that distinct garlic flavor.

Here is a picture of the spring garlic. Isn’t it beautiful?

I knew, that I wanted to combine the spring garlic in a dish where it could shine by itself and wasn’t competing with any other flavors. On my search through the Internet, Risotto sounded like the perfect match.

And let me tell you, it was out of this world! Combined with the flavors of lemon, wine, chicken broth and Parmesan the aroma of the spring garlic was lifted to a new level. The risotto tasted fresh, light and made me feel like spring has finally arrived. It was gone in a wink since my whole family loved it as well.

If you happen to get your hands on this culinary secret, the spring garlic, I urge you to try it in this risotto. What an outstanding dish!

Serves about 4.


*  1 bundle green/ spring garlic, chopped, green and white parts (see picture above, about 10-12)
*  1 tablespoons unsalted butter
*  salt and pepper to taste

*  4 cups (1 l) of vegetable or chicken stock, simmering (I made my stock with Organic chicken base)
*  2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
*  1 cup (225 g) Arborio rice
*  1/2 cup (125 ml) white wine (I used Champagne, brut)
*  3/4 cup (75 g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (no plastic cheese, please!)
*  zest of 1 organic lemon
*  salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter in a saute pan. Add garlic, stir to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Have the chicken stock simmering on the stove. Melt butter in a wide soup pot over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Pour in wine and simmer until it is absorbed, then add 2 cups of the stock. Simmer until it has been absorbed, then raise heat to medium and begin adding stock 1/2 cup at a time. Stir energetically and continue adding liquid after each addition is absorbed. Rice is done when tender with a slight bite, about 30-35 minutes. Stir in green garlic, cheese and lemon zest.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Toni used the green garlic in a Green Garlic Baby Leek Potato Soup with Brandy. Go and visit her!

Inspired by Local Flavors by Deborah Madison and The Washington Post.

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My Kitchen in the Rockies May 21, 2011 at 12:38 am

@sami: Thank you so much! I am happy you enjoyed it. I have to make it soon again, too.

sami May 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

This is the best dang risotto I have ever had! I went out and dug some spring garlic washed the mud off (rain season in Cleveland) with the hose and cleaned it in the sink. Well worth the effort of standing at the stove just stirring and stirring and stirring and …

Susan May 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Risotto…YUM! Spring time veggies are my favorite and this looks so good. As a vegetarian, I make risotto a main course and this recipe would be perfect! XOXO

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE May 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm

What a superb looking dish! Is spring garlic the same as "society" garic? I have some of that in my beds this year.

Nuts about food May 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

That risotto looks outstanding! I wish I knew where to get some spring garlic now…silly considering I live in Italy, no?

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes May 2, 2011 at 5:49 am

How delicious!

Andrea @ ForkFingersChopsticks May 2, 2011 at 5:06 am

I don't know that I've had rissoto with champagne but I'm sure it's delicious. You have become quite handy with your camera. Gorgeous garlic – even the vampires couldn't stay away from this beautiful dish.

Hope to see you soon.

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle May 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Looks absolutely fabulous; now I'm craving both spring garlic and risotto…but thinking mine will have to be with asparagus.

Missed you yesterday!

Lea Ann May 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Beautiful photos and that risotto looks fabulous. Gotta have me some of that small garlic.

Boulder Locavore May 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

This looks great! Perfect idea for it. I love anything inspired by Deborah Madison as well (figures you would too!). She is my Go To Girl when shopping from the Farmer's Market. Glad the garlic was well loved. Hope it's warming there; on our way home today (could not take more snow!).

From Beyond My Kitchen Window May 1, 2011 at 11:00 am

Springtime must bring out the best risotto recipes. All the fresh spring vegetables make for some very delicious recipes. This risotto look so mouth watering.

kitchen flavours May 1, 2011 at 10:25 am

This is a great looking risotto! It looks really delicious with the garlic greens, and must have smelt good too. A perfect way of using this beautiful green!

Dom at Belleau Kitchen May 1, 2011 at 5:55 am

Oh I love risotto and this one looks exceptional. Nice work my friend!!

JelliDonut May 1, 2011 at 2:45 am

I love risotto and this sounds delicious!

Chef Dennis May 1, 2011 at 1:28 am

your risotto looks so very very good, and I love that spring garlic! I am really jealous that you got to see Toni!
hope your weekend is going well

Karen Harris April 30, 2011 at 8:22 pm

This looks as delicious as it sounds. We missed you today. I hope you had a great time with your family at the soccer game.

My Kitchen in the Rockies April 30, 2011 at 7:39 pm

@kitchen roach; Ja, junger Knobi.

kitchen roach/galley roach April 30, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Sieht fantastisch aus. Ist spring garlic einfach junger Knoblauch? Den haette ich naehmlich im Garten 😉

megly April 30, 2011 at 7:34 pm

This looks AWESOME. I love garlic, and I think you used the spring garlic perfectly. I come across so many recipes every week that I want to try, but this just jumped to the top of my list!

Chele April 30, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Sounds lovely, beautiful photos too.

manu April 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Mhhh I love risotto! LOL

Cooking with Michele April 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm

One word – YUM!!!!!

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