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Fresh Mint

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Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata

Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata // the perfect spring meal from Karista's Kitchen

It’s the first full week of spring and my mint plant is blooming the prettiest Chartreuse green leaves. These gorgeous green leaves are inspiring a constant stream of recipe ideas like this Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata.  

I adore adding fresh mint to my recipes and I often add it to my quinoa salads, cucumber and papaya salsa, and even a few stir fry recipes. And now mint has made it’s way into my lemon risotto with a crispy mushroom and mint gremolata.

Mixing fresh herbs with sautéed mushrooms compliments a dish and gives it a little extra something special.  I like to combine fresh mint, parsley and basil in my gremolata because each of those herbs play so well together. Not to mention, the herbs compliment the lemon risotto so beautifully you’d think they were made for each other.

Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom Gremolata // Karista's Kitchen

This lovely recipe is bright with flavor but still comforting in texture. Lemon risotto with crispy mushroom and mint gremolata highlights the dawn of a new season with  a playful twist of fresh ingredients.

This is a short, although delicious, post today but I’ll be back soon with more tempting recipes from a new kitchen!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata

Serving Size: serves 4 (recipe can be doubled)

Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata


  • 2 tablespoons ghee or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup diced yellow onion (about 1/2 of a large onion)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4-5 cups warm vegetable broth (I like a creamy risotto so I use extra broth)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium lemon zested
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced assorted seasonal mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • To make the risotto add 2 tablespoons of ghee or olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onions and sauté until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the rice and stir for one minute longer. Add ½ cup dry white wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute.
  • Next, stir in 1 cup of the warm broth and simmer until it’s absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue to add 1/2 cup of broth at a time, stirring often and allowing each addition of broth to be absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the rice is almost tender, al dente.
  • When the risotto is done, take it off the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To make the gremolata, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the mushrooms and saute until slightly browned and a little crispy. Then stir in the minced garlic, fresh chopped herbs and squeeze of lemon. Take the skillet off the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To serve the risotto, ladle risotto into individual bowls or one large serving bowl. Top the lemon risotto with the crispy mushroom and mint gremolata and serve with additional grated parmesan cheese.
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    Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes Sweets vegetarian

    Pineapple, Mango and Blueberry Fruit Salad with Fresh Mint and Lime

    This is the perfect time of year to break out all your favorite fruit salad recipes.  I have so many versions of fruit salad I don’t think I could ever blog them all. 

    You might be thinking a fruit salad is just that, a fruit salad.  But not according to the Bennett crew.  Ranger Craig could consume his weight in blueberries, Tink, my oldest gal never met a pineapple she didn’t like, and Suzie Q, my youngest, will eat pints of fresh raspberries until she turns pink, which she’d love as that is most certainly her favorite color.  So, I decided to blog one of my most requested fruit salads but also include several different versions that just might suit your fancy.

    Tropical fruits, stone fruits, berries, citrus, ginger and fresh herbs blend beautifully into delicious and taste bud tingling side dishes or entrée’s.  Mango and papaya are especially delicious over fresh greens that have been tossed with a light basic vinaigrette and then topped with grilled meats or fish. 

    If I’m serving one of my fruit salads for adults only brunch or evening barbeque, sometimes I’ll spike the fruit with a bit of white wine or French brandy and serve it up in beautiful wine or martini glasses.  This makes a fun and festive appetizer for dinner or brunch guests (and gets the party rolling!).

    Pineapple, Mango and Blueberry Fruit Salad with Fresh Mint and Lime


    1 pineapple, diced into bite sized pieces

    2 mangos, diced

    1 pint fresh summer blueberries

    2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint

    1 lime zested and juiced

    Toasted coconut for garnish (optional)


    Mix together the fruit, mint and lime juice and zest.  Let the fruit sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes prior to serving. If the fruit salad needs a little extra sweetness add a few tablespoons of honey and toss.

    Asian Fruit Salad with Fresh Ginger, Lime and Honey


    1-2 Asian pears, diced

    2 mangos, diced

    2 kiwi, sliced

    1 papaya, diced

    1-2 pints fresh raspberries

    1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

    1 large lime juiced and zested

    2 tablespoons honey

    Fresh mint for garnish


    Mix together the grated ginger, lime juice, zest and honey.  In a large bowl, gently toss together the pear, mango, kiwi, papaya and raspberries with the lime, ginger and honey mixture.  Garnish with fresh chopped mint or cilantro.

    Summer Fruit Salad with Fresh Lime and Toasted Coconut


    1 pineapple, diced

    2 mangos, diced

    1 quart strawberries, sliced

    1 pint fresh blueberries

    1 pint fresh raspberries

    2 cups fresh red grapes

    Optional: sliced fresh kiwi, star fruit, citrus, or papaya

    1 cup toasted coconut

    2 limes juiced and zested


    In a large bowl gently toss all ingredients together.  Serve in one large glass bowl or large wine or martini glasses. 

    Just for fun:  If serving these fruit salads to adults, spike the salad with about 1/4 – 1/2  cup white wine or your favorite aperitif such as a lovely French Brandy or Sherry.  Serve in martini glasses and toast to summer! 

    Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Mediterranean Couscous Salad

    spring peas, couscous, mint, sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese

    Mediterranean Couscous Salad

    Several years ago my sister, Kristin, who is always on a mission to find the tastiest and simplest dishes, sent me this Couscous Salad recipe.  And since that time its been a staple at my house, especially during the warm summer months.  This salad makes a fabulous side dish to any barbeque or summer meal, but it can also make a great weeknight main meal by adding shredded or diced grilled chicken.

    And in daring, creative Kristin style, my sister will occasionally add an assortment of mediterranean olives and capers and a dash of lemon juice,  just to spice things up a bit.

    Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad (4 – 6  servings)

    Shopping List

    1 box Cous Cous (I prefer Near East brand) parmesan and garlic or pine nut and herbs (or substitute with quinoa for a wheat free version)

    1 Cup frozen organic spring peas

    1 Jar (about 1 Cup) julienned sun dried tomatoes in olive oil and herbs

    ¾ Cup feta cheese, crumbled (or more if you like) (I highly recommend Valbreso French Sheep’s Milk Feta, so yummy!)

    ¼ – ½ Cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped

    Salt and pepper to taste

    To Assemble

    Cook the Cous Cous according to package directions and let cool slightly.

    Fluff with a fork and place the cous cous into a large mixing bowl.  Add the frozen peas and toss with the warm cous cous.

    Next, drain most of the oil, but not all, from the sun dried tomatoes and then add tomatoes and remaining olive oil to the cous cous, lightly toss.  Add the feta, mint, pinch of salt and pepper and toss once more.  Taste for seasoning adding more salt and pepper if needed.

    Meal Ideas

    Add leftover chopped roasted or grilled chicken to your cous cous salad to make a delicious and healthy lunch or dinner.

    For something different, try fresh basil in place of the fresh mint, and pair it with fresh mozzarella in lieu of the feta.