Jill Fergus

I began cooking as a child and feeding family and friends has always been my passion. My kitchen is a busy one. I love to experiment and embrace the kitchen successes along with the accidents. I love to cook and collaborate with friends. I am seasonally driven (I love the farmer's market!), avoid processed foods and focus on whole and organic (mostly plant-based, but not exclusively) choices. In my home, my family has a variety of eating preferences from plant-based, gluten free, refined sugar free to full on omnivore. My goal is to create dishes to please all, either as is or with minor adjustments to the recipe. Where did "Feed the Swimmers" come from? When my kids began swimming competitively and growing into young adults, I realized, even more, how important nutrition is to performance, growth and overall health and emotional well being. Everyone (including the coach during travel meets) would ask "what are you feeding the swimmers?" This has become my mantra whenever I'm in my kitchen cooking for family and the friends I love.



Spring Risotto with Sautéed Mushrooms

Spring Risotto with Sautéed Mushrooms

Risotto is simply one of those sublime dishes made from a few simple ingredients which come together brilliantly with patience and love. Don’t be intimidated to make this at home. It’s not complicated, it really just takes a little hands on time- and that’s where the magic happens. And, by time, I’m talking simply 30 minutes. If you plan to serve other dishes alongside, have everything organized and have your table set. Risotto should be served immediately. If you find yourself with leftovers (you may want to make more than you need to plan for this), making risotto cakes is a delicious way to go. 

I made this in my new Le Creuset braiser from their Provence Collection. There is an exclusive discount code (which expires soon) here  if you’d like to add some beautiful color to your kitchen! 



Spring Risotto with Sautéed Mushrooms

Serves 6

Be prepared to stir for about 30 minutes and serve immediately.

A few notes:

-Arborio rice produces that special creaminess.

-Stock needs to be kept at a gentle simmer so you maintain constant heat while adding it to the risotto. Keep a half cup measure or large ladle at the ready. The time will go by quickly, especially if you enjoy a glass of wine with a friend while you stir and you should actively stir throughout.

-Mushrooms may be sautéed with the onion (adding it afterwards) and incorporated into The risotto from the beginning. My family likes the mushrooms to have crispy caramelized edges, so I add them at the end. Your choice.

-Finished rice should be tender throughout, but still “al dente”. You may find you have a touch of stock remaining.  

-Leftovers are wonderful made into risotto cakes: form into desired shape and lightly coat with bread crumbs of choice (gf fine), pan sear in a little olive oil until golden brown on each side.



2-3 Tbs olive oil

4-6 oz assorted mushrooms, sautéed, seasoned with salt and pepper, and kept warm

Be careful not to overcrowd the pan as you want the edges of the mushrooms to crisp a bit.


8 cups cooking stock (pref low sodium), heated 

2 Tbs unsalted butter

2 Tbs olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 -3 tsp fresh garlic, minced

2 cups arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

For finishing:

1 Tbs unsalted butter

1 Tbs good quality extra virgin olive oil

1 - 1 1/2 cups fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup frozen sweet peas, partially thawed (if using fresh, parboil them first)

A touch more of the stock

3 Tbs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 Tbs basil, chiffonade

2 tsp mint, finely chopped

Flaky sea salt

Fresh ground black pepper



1- Bring stock to a gentle boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to simmer and cover to maintain heat.

2- In a larger heavy bottomed sautée pan or braiser, melt the butter over medium low heat add olive oil and sautée the onion until translucent then add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.

3- Increase heat to medium/medium high and add rice stirring to coat and heat thoroughly, about 2-3 minutes. Add white wine and stir until almost fully evaporated.

4- Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of the hot stock, stirring until absorbed. Risotto should be actively simmering, but not boiling. If so, lower heat to medium. You do want this to cook slowly- do not rush the process. (Have a sip of wine.)

5- Add an additional cup of stock and stir until absorbed.

6- Continue this way adding 1/2 cup stock at a time until absorbed. You should see the risotto turning nice and creamy. The final product should not be mushy.

7- Stir in additional butter and Parmesan cheese until fully combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in peas and some additional stock (about 1/2 cup). Once peas are warm, mix in chopped herbs reserving a pinch for garnish.

8- Serve and top each portion with mushrooms and remaining herbs.



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