Asparagus Risotto Recipe

Asparagus Risotto


  • 2 pounds medium asparagus, trimmed
  • 10 cups water
  • 4 bouillon cubes or 2 tablespoons of “Better than Bouillon”
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 cup) plus additional for serving
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

How to make Asparagus Risotto

Perfect for celebrating spring, this asparagus risotto is very simple and delicious. Try telling that to my little sister. This past Easter she wanted to help me and my brother cook up a meal for our folks, which turned into a dinner party for 8, and I had her stirring that thing for an hour. Tough love kids, tough love.

  1. Trim about an inch off the ends of the asparagus. Cut top third of each asparagus stalk into 1/2 inch rounds, reserving tips and slices together. Coarsely chop the remainder for stock making. Bring the water to boil and add 1/2 teaspoon in a pot, then add the roughly chopped asparagus and cook, uncovered, until very tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a food processor and process with the garlic cloves and lemon zest. Set aside for later.

  2. Add reserved asparagus tips and slices to boiling water and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to a sieve and rinse asparagus under cold water to stop cooking. Drain well and save for later. Add the bouillon to the asparagus water and keep at a simmer next to a big pot that will house the risotto.

  3. Sauté the onions in the olive oil until softened in the big risotto pot, 5 to 7 minutes and add a bit of the pepper. Add the arborio rice and stir until the grains are covered with the oil and onions. Add wine and boil, stirring, until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute.

  4. Now the fun part (I am sorry Amanda). Turn the heat down to a medium simmer on the risotto pot and add about a cup of the stock you just made and stir until the rice has absorbed all the water. Repeat until all of the stock has been used up. It could take a while. You don’t really have to stand over the pot stirring like a lunatic, but it will create strong arm muscles and a very creamy risotto.

  5. Once all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, stir in asparagus purée, asparagus-tip mixture, and enough additional water to thin to desired consistency and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until hot, about 1 minute. Stir in cheese, then season with salt and pepper. Plate and sprinkle with hazelnuts and serve parmesan on the side. Eat up!

  • tjr
    tjr says

    Risotto is probably my favourite side in the world, and asparagus works really well with it. So, basically, I know this tastes delicious. I used to always make risottos in the pan (for authenticity), until I was shown a rice cooker risotto that honestly rivaled some of the best risottos I've ever eaten, with 99% less stirring and effort. Risotto really impresses most people (and, most people never having eaten one because of the perceived complexity and effort, will find amazingly delicious and wonder why they've been wasting their lives without it), and you can vary the ingredients you toss in, making it a base that will fit with nearly anything you make.

  • pwoodward
    pwoodward says

    Hi RockChick. I borrowed your recipe for my little addition. here it is.

  • pwoodward
    pwoodward says

    Sorry for that long URL. here is the [proper link](

  • watson
    watson says

    You know, I'm from Milan (Italy): risotto was born here, and is a tradition in my family that men make risotto (my father and me). That said You have described almost perfectly the way of making a good risotto. Just adding some note: - the "toasting" of rice in Your step 3 is a really important part for having a perfect cooking level of rice (we say "al dente": ie pefectly/evenly cooked, not soft out and hard in the inside). Don't be afraid to toast rice at a high flame stirring continuously for some time, but be careful not to burn it). - the other note is for the end. For us the perfect consistency is called "all'onda", (that we could translate in "fluttering"? "Onda" is "wave"). Risotto must be creamy and very soft: if You shake the plate it must lay down smoothly. To achive this I put a final half cup (depending on the quantity of rice) after stopping gas for a final stir, while putting in a lot of "parmigiano reggiano". Don't put salt and pepper at the end. Salt must come from...

  • watson
    watson says

    ... brot You use during cooking and pepper must be fresh on avery plate. We make risotto with everything, my preferred are: - with saffron and sousage - with saffron and marrowbone and medulla (the tipical risotto in Milan) - with barolo (red wine) and toma (cheese from our mountains - with red wine and beans - with fish and seashells - with pumpkin and lemon rind to lower the sweetness - with black from cuttlefish (sepia): Yummm - I like risotto.... Fabio

  • driveafastercar
    driveafastercar says

    This was delicious! Just took a lot longer than I initially expected to make it. ;)

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