Spring Salad with Arborio Rice Cakes, Roasted Baby Carrots, White Asparagus and Fava Beans | CUESA

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Spring Salad with Arborio Rice Cakes, Roasted Baby Carrots, White Asparagus and Fava Beans


Amy Murray, Venus Restaurant

Serves 4 to 6


Saffron vegetable stock
2 ½ quart water
1 carrot, diced
2 tablespoons water-used in sautéing the vegetables
2 stalks celery, diced
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoon salt
1 large onion, diced
3 sprigs parsley
1 leek, diced
¼ teaspoon peppercorns
1 tomato, diced

Risotto cake
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ cup white wine
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 ½ cup hot saffron stock
1 cup Arborio rice
Salt and pepper

Herb vinaigrette
4 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ tablspoons fine chopped chives
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon

4 – 5 pods fava beans
½ pound baby carrots
12 spears white asparagus

Salad greens
2 heads frisee
1 bunch watercress
1 bunch chervil


Saffron vegetable stock

  1. Sauté the vegetables in 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons oil for 6 minutes. Add the sautéed vegetables to 2 ½ quart. of water and simmer for 1 hour. Strain and chill.

  2. To infuse saffron into the stock, heat the strained stock until it simmers. Add 2 pinches of saffron. Turn off the heat, cover, and steep for 1 hour. Strain and set aside.

For the risotto cake

  1. Heat the oil and sauté the onion for 2 minutes. Add the rice, toast and gently cover with the oil. Add the wine, simmer for 2 minutes. Slowly add 1 cup of hot stock, stirring constantly until absorbed. Add another cup until absorbed. Continue until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice looks thick and creamy. Salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Spread on a baking sheet, chill for 3 hours. Form into patties. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes until crispy and golden.

For the herb vinaigrette

Mix together the vinegar and the lemon juice. Add the chopped herbs, salt, and black pepper. While slowly drizzling the olive oil into the vinegar mixture, whip the ingredients with a whisk until emulsified.

For the vegetables

  1. Blanch fava beans in salted boiling water until bright green, about 2 minutes. Remove to an ice bath, peel off outer jacket.

  2. Soak carrots in cold water, scrub off the fine roots with a brush. Toss with sea salt, olive oil, the fresh thyme and minced garlic. Roast in 400° oven for 15 minutes or until golden.
  3. Peel asparagus to the tip, blanch then immerse in an ice bath.

For the salad greens

Wash and dry the greens. Cut the frisee heads into 2-3 sections. Remove the bottom stems of the chervil and the thick stems from the watercress. Mix together and toss in the dressing.

To serve

Arrange the risotto cake on top of the greens. Place the vegetables around the platter. Shave parmesan or dry goat cheese over the top. Drizzle more dressing around the plate. Relax & enjoy!


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »