Lemon-Parmesan Asparagus Risotto

From Julie Van Rosendaal

2016 May/Jun

Risotto is a classic vehicle for asparagus; a simple, springy dish with plenty of parm, brightened with lemon. To make a more substantial meal, add a handful of raw, tail-on shrimp to the pot along with the asparagus; cover and cook until they turn opaque.


  • 2 T. each olive oil and butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 c. Arborio rice
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine (optional)
  • 6 c. chicken or vegetable stock, warmed
  • 1/2-1 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 4-6 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths


In a medium-large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the rice and cook for a minute, stirring to coat the grains with buttery oil.

If you’re using the wine, add it now and cook until it’s absorbed. Add about half a cup of stock at a time and cook, stirring, until it’s absorbed. Continue adding stock, stirring (it doesn’t have to be constantly, just frequently) until it absorbs the liquid. When it’s all used up, the grains should be soft. If they still have a crunchy core, add a little more water or stock. When the rice is cooked and it’s nice and creamy, stir in the cheese, lemon zest and juice, and the asparagus. Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then stir and serve immediately, passing extra parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Serves 4-6.