Summer Risotto with Peas Zucchini Avocado and Lemon Tarragon Sander Fillet

Summer Risotto Pea Zucchini Avocado Lemon Herb Sander-0091

Summer is full on here in Weimar. We’ve got temperatures hitting close to 40 degrees C and the weather is like on a tropical island. It feels good – almost like an extended vacation overseas. Ever since our return from India 3 weeks ago we are taking things easy. Soeren still is out from school and that alone slows down our routine immensely, with no time pressure for homework, sport runs, meal plans or bed time. It’s summer time and the living is really easy!

Although I have already completed a few photo projects since my return including travelling to a couple of regions in Thuringia for photo shoots, when the locations are gorgeous lakes, vineyards or canoeing on the river under the warm sun - it never seems like real work but rather respite. Even things at the university are relaxed and quiet allowing me to come home earlier and spend time with the kids and our friends.

Summer Risotto Peas 2015 (0059)

Summer Risotto Pea Zucchini Avocado-0096

Summer Risotto Peas-0071

Summer has got us all in a good mood! Even a calamity like having our canoe careen and tip over throwing us and my mobile into the current was not that much of a big deal! The instant I realized my cell phone was not in the plastic waterproof container but between my legs before I hit the water I knew it had drowned! As we turned the canoe back around – there it was swimming in a massive puddle of water in the boat. I might have reacted more hysterically on other occasions – maybe – but we were all having a good time and I high fived myself for NOT taking my “big” camera with me on the boat, that this only seemed like a small mishap. My mobile phone has been drying every since then – first in the warmth and now in a bag of rice – Aroborio risotto rice to be precise. I hear it helps to withdraw water from the phone. Apparently I am not the only who has tried this!

Summer Risotto Pea Zucchini Avocado Lemon Herb Sander-0084Summer Risotto Peas-0077

Risotto is always the best way to put me back on track and think properly again. With summer providing such a generous bounty of produce this risotto was just waiting to happen. I am particularly proud of my homegrown zucchini – harvesting them while they are still small they have a lovely mellow and fruity flavor. Fresh peas directly from their pods, ripe avocado and a good dose of lemon peel all bring the light summery flavors out in the risotto. I serve this with a effortless sander fillet pan-fried in butter and highlighted with tarragon and thyme.

Recipe: Summer Risotto with Peas, Zucchini Avocado and Lemon Herb Sander Fillet


Prep Time:
Total Time:
Serves: 4



  • 1 liter vegetable broth
  • 375 ml dry white wine
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 300g fresh peas
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 300 g risotto rice
  • 100 g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 sander fillets
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh tarragon and thyme, finely chopped


  1. Bring the broth to a boil and keep warm. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil together, add the chopped shallots and on a low heat sauté very gently for 8-10 minutes until the flavors have combined and caramelized. Be careful and do not allow them to take on color. Add the rice and increase the heat.
  2. Keep stirring the rice while it cooks and takes on a glassy color - approx. 1 minute. At this point add the wine and as it bubbles, allow the rice to infuse with the wonderful aroma.
  3. Once the liquid has evaporated and the rice begins to get dry add a ladle full of broth. Stir well and add a touch of salt. Reduce the temperature so that the mixture bubbles gently. Now, keep adding the broth, a ladle at a time, and allow the rice to soak this up, stirring every now and then. When the rice has soaked the liquid add another ladle full. By “massaging” the rice this way you release the creamy starch from the rice giving the dish a fantastic creamy consistency. This whole process takes approx. 15 minutes. About 10 minutes into the cooking process add the peas and zucchini and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. The rice grains should be soft but still have a slight crunch to them and the peas should be cooked through but still have a bite to them. Now add a bit of salt and pepper, but be careful as the stock is normally salty enough - so please taste before!
  4. Take the pot off the heat and stir through the lemon zest and the avocado along with most of the Parmesan. Mix well and cover. Allow the rice to take on all the flavors - 2 minutes. Giving the risotto this time allows it to unfold it's perfect creamy-moist consistency. Check and adjust seasoning.
  5. For the fish drizzle the fish with the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice, then sprinkle with the herbs, lemon zest. Heat the knob of butter in a skillet and fry the fish on both sides until brown, crispy and cooked through.
  6. Serve on warmed plates with risotto and fish fillet for each person.


Summer Risotto Pea Zucchini Avocado-0092

The rice is better off in my saucepan sprinkled with parmesan and hugged in melting butter than it is in a bag drying off my mobile phone. Risotto hits all the right spots at all the right moments and my summer version with the zucchini, peas and the avocado chunks brings out the sunny smiles on everyone’s lips. I hope you are enjoying your summer and tucking into and sharing your delicious summer dishes.

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If you enjoyed my summer risotto I am sure you will like these summer dishes from my friends:

You might like these ideas from WFLH:

Tomato Zucchini & Goat Cheese Clafoutis (03) by MeetaK Roasted Pumpkin Aubergine Zucchini Tapenade Tarts with Buffalo Mozzarella (0005) by Meeta K. Wolff Lemon Thyme Fennel Risotto--0140 by Meeta K. Wolff

Tomato Zucchini and Goat Cheese Clafoutis

Roasted Pumpkin Aubergine Zucchini Tapenade Tarts with Buffalo Mozzarella

Risotto with Lemon Thyme and Fennel

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  1. Summer pure with your risotto dish Meeta! Love love the usage of all the "green" veggies and that fish is the highlight. Your recipes are innovative and your photography is gorgeous.

    1. Thank you Neele! Glad you liked this summer recipe and thank you for your kind words.

  2. A delightful risotto. Perfect with the fish.

    As usual, your pictures are marvelous.



  3. This looks gorgeous - the combination of greens with fish and avocado is so light, healthy and vibrant, perfect for summer! Your description of summer is making me a little envious though... we are stuck in a rainy winter here in Melbourne with summer still a few months off - but I might just make this anyway!

  4. OMG - noooo! I would have freaked out about the phone! But as you say, rather the phone than the big camera!! We nearly tipped over in a canoe on honeymoon when a storm came down the gorge - nearly got divorced 3 days after getting married ;o) Love this summery and light risotto and thanks for linking to me!

    1. LOL! Trust you to experience the drama on your honeymoon! Seriously! We need to cook and eat and catch up together again.

  5. I never thought of adding avocado to risotto or any rice dishes, what a novel idea. I've done pasta sauce and works wonders! Hope you have sort the phone drama out by now.

    1. Pasta sauce to risotto - have never tried that. But avocado is always my secret weapon to make a dish slightly different. It works so well here.

  6. Ich suche schon so lange nach einem guten Risotto, welches mal nicht aus Sahnesoße und Pilzen besteht, wo der Reis nur Nebensache ist. Endlich habe eines gefunden! Wird gleich morgen ausprobiert :)

    1. NEIN kein Shane sauce in risotto - viel zu schade. Ich mach immer mein risotto "pure" ohne schnick/schnack aber dafür mit gemüse etc. die wirklich eine große rolle spielen. Danke Lena für dein Feedback

  7. I really, really love it! Fantastic! Lila Green

  8. Soft, soothing, dreamy, darling Rissotto.

    Pictures are like ' a table for one in a fantasy-land'.

    You're an inspiration. Love.

    1. Thank you Nusrat! I always enjoy hearing your thoughts here. So glad you liked the recipe and images!

  9. I like risotto and I've tried it with many different vegetables. I've never tried adding zuchinni, but I think I'll taste great. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Oh yes it does. Just make sure the zuchini is not overcooked as that changes not only the taste of the vegetable but also the texture of the entire dish!

  10. I like this, never try avocado in risotto before, sounds good. But I don't like peas. Probably replace it with asparagus or broccoli. :)


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