The Washington Post

Green Eggs and Ham Risotto

Green Eggs and Ham Risotto 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Book Report Jan 9, 2017

A green puree of peas, spinach and parsley is responsible for the risotto’s cheerful color.

Quail eggs are more widely available these days at large supermarkets, including Whole Foods, but if you can’t find them, the recipe’s author says it’s better to leave them out rather than substitute chicken eggs, whose yolks are larger and will overpower the rest of the dish. If you are concerned about any risk involved in eating raw eggs, leave them out.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • For the puree
  • 1/2 cup frozen/defrosted peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen/defrosted spinach
  • 1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Water (optional)
  • For the risotto
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced Serrano ham, for garnish
  • Canola or grapeseed oil, for frying
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups no-salt-added chicken broth, heated
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (1/3 cup), plus more for optional garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Chopped fresh chives, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 to 6 wedges
  • 4 to 6 quail eggs, for garnish (see headnote)


For the puree: Combine the peas, spinach and parsley in a food processor. Puree until smooth, adding up to 1/2 cup water as needed. Transfer to a bowl.

For the risotto: Cut the ham lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Line a plate with paper towels.

Coat the bottom of a medium cast-iron skillet with some canola or grapeseed oil and heat over medium-high heat; once the oil shimmers, working in batches, add some strips of the ham and fry for 15 to 30 seconds or just until crisped and crinkled. Drain on the paper towels.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onion; cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often, until the onion softens, taking care not to let it burn. Stir in the garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until the onion has become translucent.

Stir in the rice until evenly coated; increase the heat to medium-high and cook for about 3 minutes or until the rice smells toasty. Pour in the wine, immediately stirring with a wooden spoon to dislodge any stuck bits of rice. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the wine has mostly evaporated.

Gradually add enough of the heated broth so the rice is covered. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until that amount of liquid is almost absorbed before adding more of the broth. Repeat until the rice is al dente (with a bit of chew); the broth-adding process should take about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Vigorously stir in the butter a few pieces at a time, then stir in the green puree, frozen peas, cheese and salt until evenly incorporated.

Divide the risotto among wide, shallow bowls. Top with the fried Serrano ham, the chives, if using, and a squeeze of lemon juice from the wedges. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, if desired.

Use the back of a melon baller or spoon to create a small indentation in each portion of risotto. Working with one at a time, crack open each quail egg over a cup, letting the white fall into it. Nestle a quail egg yolk in each indentation. Serve right away.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “The Good Fork Cookbook,” by Sohui Kim with Rachel Wharton (Abrams, 2016).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6): 540

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 22g 34%

Saturated Fat: 9g 45%

Cholesterol: 35mg 12%

Sodium: 270mg 11%

Total Carbohydrates: 68g 23%

Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%

Sugar: 6g

Protein: 15g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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