I really don’t understand how it’s already mid-April. How did this happen?! Over the weekend, I came to the realization that summer is right around the corner and I haven’t fully taken advantage of spring vegetable season. I’ve made Brussels sprouts once this spring. Once! And I’ve made a whopping two asparagus recipes. So I thought I’d remedy that by making an asparagus risotto.
I rarely make risotto because I find the whole stirring-and-ladling thing incredibly boring, but I’ll happily make an exception for asparagus risotto. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to stand at the stove and enjoy a rerun of The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion. You have to watch those things twice to really absorb what transpired, you see.
While I’ve posted an asparagus risotto recipe here before (Farro Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Asparagus, in case you’re wondering), that recipe was more rustic and hearty, while this risotto is a little lighter and more refined–I think it’s the addition of the lemon juice and zest, which adds a bright note that perfectly compliments the asparagus.
This creamy risotto is the perfect way to celebrate the spring asparagus season. Adapted from Epicurious' Lemon Risotto.
- 6 c. vegetable broth
- 3 1/2 tbsp. butter, divided
- 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 2 large shallots, chopped
- 2 c. arborio rice
- 1/4 c. dry white wine
- 1 lb. thin asparagus (see note), tough ends removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
- zest and juice from 1 medium lemon
- salt and pepper
- Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan and then reduce heat to low.
- Add 1 1/2 tablespoon of butter and oil to a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add shallots and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in rice; heat for 1 minute. Add wine and stir until absorbed, about 30 seconds.
- Now it's time for the boring part! Add 1 1/2 cups of broth; simmer until absorbed, continuing to stir frequently. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time as each 1/2 cup of broth is absorbed. (So add a half cup, stir, wait for it to be absorbed, add another half cup, etc. This will take about 35 minutes.) Add asparagus pieces with the last 1/2 cup of broth.
- Once all broth has been absorbed, add remaining butter, cheese, parsley, lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper (you probably won't need any salt if your broth has salt in it).
If you can't find thin asparagus, steam it before adding it to the risotto.
But wait! This recipe is a two-parter! It’s a cliffhanger, if you will. Like an episode of Dynasty, but with less Alexis Carrington and more asparagus.