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White asparagus risotto recipe

White asparagus risotto recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Main course
  • Risotto
  • Asparagus risotto

Make a real Italian risotto with white asparagus. It's easy with this delicious recipe, which is best enjoyed when white asparagus is in season.

Veneto , Italy

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1kg white asparagus
  • 1/2 onion or shallot
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 glass white wine
  • 500g Vialone Nano or Carnaroli rice
  • 1.5 litres hot stock
  • 1 knob butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 80g grated Parmesan cheese

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:40min

  1. Leave the asparagus in cold water for a few minutes. Rinse well and snap off the bottom woody section of the spears using your hands. Peel the spears from below the tips.
  2. Cut asparagus into pieces and separate the tops of the spears. Finely chop the onion.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, then add the onion. When the onion is soft, add the asparagus, and cook for around 10 minutes. Add the white wine and cook till it has mostly evaporated.
  4. Add the rice and toast it for a few minutes until it's almost sticking to the pan. Add a ladleful of hot stock to the rice and the tops of the asparagus, and continue stirring. Once the rice has mostly absorbed the stock, add another ladleful. Keep stirring and adding stock until the rice is cooked. It takes around 18 minutes if you have chosen Vialone Nano.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Finally, add the Parmesan and butter and stir well. Leave the risotto to rest before serving.


You can ensure this recipe is vegetarian by using vegetable stock. Otherwise, chicken stock can be used.

See it on my blog

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Asparagus Risotto

This asparagus risotto is easy and creamy and made with asparagus, Parmesan, shallots, garlic, butter, white wine, and Italian Arborio rice. A lovely spring riff on a traditional Italian classic in less than an hour.

Adapted from Flora Shedden | Gatherings | Mitchell Beazley, 2017

This asparagus risotto is an easy spring riff on risotto that still manages to maintain all the rich, indulgent, creamy goodness of the Italian classic. Creamy rice is juxtaposed with spears of tender asparagus and flecks of fresh mint. A glass of wine in hand while you’re stirring makes the zen-like process all the more pleasant.–Angie Zoobkoff


Risotto might seem like something that’s just for chefs or nonnas. But that’s not true. If we can do it, so can you, no matter what you’ve heard. But we do have a couple of tips to make it easier. First, heat that broth in a separate saucepan. Putting anything cold into your rice mixture will just slow the entire process. And we know that you’ve been told to stir constantly, but that’s actually not necessary and might, in fact, be too much. You want to keep things moving but don’t be overzealous as you’ll add too much air to the risotto and cool it down, which once again means you’ll end up taking longer than necessary.

  1. This asparagus risotto is so flavorful thanks to being cooked in vegetable broth. The arborio rice takes on the flavors from the broth and then when mixed with fresh dill and parmesan at the end, each bite is packed with flavor.
  2. It pairs perfectly with so many things! Your asparagus risotto doesn't have to be a main dish, you can pair it with some sous vide scallops to keep things light and fresh!
  3. It's surprisingly easy and from prepping, cooking, and cleaning, you'll be done in less than an hour.

The full list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Arborio rice &mdash Arborio is a key ingredients when making a traditional risotto. You cannot substitute arborio rice for any regular rice like jasmine or basmati, it does not yield the same type of creamy texture at the end.

Asparagus &mdash When picking asparagus, you want to avoid any that seem limp. You want them to be firm, able to stand straight, and the spears at the top be tightly closed.

Vegetable broth &mdash I suggest using low sodium vegetable broth or no salt added so you can adjust the saltiness of the risotto to your liking by adding salt yourself.

Fresh dill &mdash Fresh dill has a nice subtle citrus-y fresh flavor that lends well to risotto without being over powering.

Parmesan &mdash The parmesan helps make our asparagus risotto extra creamy and flavorful.

Pine nuts &mdash A handful of toasted pine nuts on top of our creamy rich risotto adds an extra layer to texture to it. I love how it adds a nice bite to the risotto.

Related Video

I made this without caul fat and had very good results. I simply pan seared the fish the oil from the marinade was more than adequate and produced a beautiful sear. In a pinch, you could easily substitute thick cuts of cod and still keep your guests happy! You'll want to think through staging before you begin. The steps as laid out in the recipe would result in cold puree and asparagus. There's plenty of time to finish the asparagus and prepare the peas in the final stages of simmering the risotto and cooking the fish.

I made this pretty much exactly to the recipe. I forgot to go to the butcher for caul fat but having cooked halibut many many times, it doesn't need it. I had a few pieces of pork belly so I put those in the cast iron pan to render and seared the halibut in the fat instead of using bacon, caul fat or olive oil. It adds a very nice subtle flavour to the fish. I, too, added more lemon juice to the puree and it was fantastic! Like anything, taste as you go and it will turn out great. With every stage being salt and peppered (as one does) I put some fresh arugula into the puree instead of pepper. It was a beautiful bright green and tasted delicious. I agree with other home cooks that if you make SO many substitutions you can't evaluate the recipe. This was a winner. Frankly it started with asking the fishmonger to cut equally thick pieces of halibut (about 200g each) so that they all cooked evenly. Finishing the fish in the oven is a must. Oh and I always use veggie stock instead of chicken stock in my risotto, it makes it a paler colour which is a great contrast to the white asparagus and bright green pea puree, and I just think it tastes better. Will definitely definitely make again. It was so easy!

I made a recipe for 10 for our gourmet group. Defintiely a gourmet recipe but my fish was overcooked. I bought about a 5 pound piece of local (California) Halibut so I could cut it into 10 equal pieces. I couldn't find caul fat so used thin sliced bacon - 2 per piece. The problem is to get the bacon crisp, the fish gets overdone. I had the thinnest and smallest piece. My husband said his was not overdone. I didn't even do the oven step because it didn't need it. Everyone seemed to like it and mostly cleaned their plate. I used 2 (20-ounce) packages of English peas because I bought them and there were leftovers of that too. The pea puree needs more flavor. I added extra lemon juice. I could buy frozen peas next time as the pea puree didn't get very 'pureed'. I made the risotto ahead and just added additional hot stock to it before serving. This recipe makes way too much risotto so I cut it back. For 10 I made 3 cups dry arborio and there was a lot leftover.


  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 medium shallot (or, 1/2 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup))
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound asparagus (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus, extra Parmesan for shaving)
  • 2 tablespoon Italian parsley (chopped)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)

Creamy Asparagus Risotto

Cook the asparagus tips in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tips to a colander and rinse in cold water drain well.

Break the asparagus stalks in half. Add them to the boiling water and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1/3 cup of the cooking water, then drain the stalks. Puree the stalks with the reserved cooking water in a food processor. Using a rubber spatula, work the puree through a coarse sieve you should have about 2 cups.

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the shallots are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir over moderate heat to coat the grains with the oil. Pour in the wine and continue stirring until the wine is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the hot stock and stir constantly until almost absorbed. Continue adding the stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it is absorbed before adding more. When the rice is almost tender, after about 15 minutes, add the asparagus puree. Continue to cook, stirring, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, about 4 minutes. Add the asparagus tips and stir for 1 minute to heat through.

Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the butter and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and let stand for 2 minutes, then spoon the risotto into shallow bowls and serve.

Step 3/4

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250 g risotto rice
  • 100 ml white wine
  • pot
  • spatula

Heat asparagus cooking water again until simmering and add the bay leaf. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until translucent. Add rice and fry for approx. 2 min. Add the cooked asparagus slices (reserve the heads for serving) and deglaze with white wine. Stir well and reduce heat until liquid is fully absorbed.

How To Make: Asparagus Risotto

As Spring arrives, Britain’s asparagus spears begin to surface, ready to be greeted with almost religious fervour on Instagram. While the season doesn’t officially begin until late April, typically lasting until June, British asparagus seems to become available earlier each year, with some producers having already harvested. In addition to containing essential vitamins and health benefits, believed to help detoxify the body and increase libido, Asparagus is also delicious in a variety of recipes. Simply serve with hollandaise sauce and/or poached eggs, or raw, shaved and dressed with some olive oil and parmesan. I’m also particularly fond of asparagus risotto, with a good squeeze of lemon juice.

A true celebration of rice, risotto requires a fair amount of energy to cook, but the result is always far greater than the sum of its basic parts. Although rice has been grown in southern Italy since the 14th century, risotto is most commonly considered a northern dish, specifically associated with Milan. It’s believed that the first recipe identifiable as a risotto dates back to the early 1800s, including rice sautéed in butter, with sausages, bone marrow, onions, and hot stock, coloured with saffron. Today, however, there are hundreds of risotto recipe variations, with the base ingredients acting as a canvas. Yet regardless of supplementary ingredients, the formulaic production is essential for any risotto, demanding to be stirred, using a short grain rice (Arborio or Carnaroli are the easiest to get hold of in the UK) whose starch contributes to the creaminess of the dish.

This asparagus risotto recipe is fairly simple, sweating shallots in butter and combining them with the rice before adding a splash of white wine, followed by chicken stock (or vegetable stock to make the dish vegetarian) one ladle at a time. Once the rice is al dente, after around 20-25 minutes of cooking, remove from the heat and gently fold in a good amount of butter, chopped parsley, lemon juice, and a generous amount of parmesan (or vegetarian alternative).

The basis of this asparagus risotto recipe can also be used for a variety of risottos. Artichoke is great as a straight swap for asparagus, while peas are also a delicious addition (with asparagus) once in season. Alternatively switch the white wine for vermouth, or red wine and cook with sausage meat and rosemary. Also, it’s worth cooking extra and making arancini with the leftovers. The possibilities are virtually endless.

White asparagus risotto

White asparagus is such a luxurious vegetable. I often just boil the spears and enjoy them with a traditional hollandaise or melted butter, though they are also delicious shaved raw in a salad, or made into a risotto like this.

The very best white asparagus available in Australia is grown in Tasmania by a man called Richard Weston, who is, I believe, the only person in the country to grow the true European white asparagus varieties.

In this recipe I have enhanced the asparagus flavour by using the trimmings to produce a dehydrated powder, while the asparagus itself is cut into both julienne and larger pieces to provide a change of texture within the dish.

24 large Precoce D’Argenteuil white asparagus spears (or other white asparagus spears), woody ends removed and discarded
2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
100g (3½ oz) unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely diced
½ garlic clove, finely diced
300g (10½ oz) arborio rice
100g (3½ oz) parmesan, finely grated
Sea salt
2 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
50ml (1¾ fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil

Slice the heads off the asparagus spears and set aside. Peel the remaining stalks with a vegetable peeler, then transfer 10 of the peeled stalks to a wire rack and dehydrate in a dehydrator or a very low oven preheated to 50C for 12 hours, or until the asparagus can snap and is completely dry. Place in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Weigh out 20g and set aside in an airtight container until needed.

Slice half of the remaining asparagus stalks into 2mm thick pieces on the diagonal and cut the rest into julienne. Set two saucepans on the stovetop, filling one with the stock and the other with salted water. Bring both to the boil.

Melt 50g of the unsalted butter in another saucepan over a medium–high heat, add the shallots and garlic and gently sauté until translucent.

Add the rice and stir to coat well, then start adding the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring every minute or so and adding the next ladleful only once the rice has absorbed the liquid, for approximately 15 minutes, or until the rice is al dente – at this point you should have just a little stock left.

Add the sliced asparagus and stir for another minute, then stir in the remaining butter and 80g of the parmesan. Season to taste with salt and add a little more stock if the risotto looks as though it needs it, then turn off the heat and leave to sit for two minutes.

While the risotto is sitting, add the asparagus heads to the saucepan of boiling salted water and blanch for one minute. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a clean tea towel (dish towel). Add the julienned asparagus stalks to the pan and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain.

Combine the asparagus powder with the sesame seeds and remaining parmesan.

Divide the risotto among serving plates and scatter over the blanched asparagus heads and julienned stalks. Drizzle over the extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle over a generous amount of the asparagus powder and sesame seed mixture. Serve.

This is an edited extract from From the Earth by Peter Gilmore ($80, Hardie Grant Books)

Spring Asparagus with Pea Risotto

In a blender, combine the thyme, oregano, basil, 3 cloves garlic, ½ tablespoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and 4 tablespoons Rouses Novello Olive Oil. Puree until smooth and set aside.

Trim the bottom end of the asparagus and discard. Cut 2 inches off the tips of the asparagus and set aside. Chop the remainder of the asparagus.

Cook the chopped asparagus in the warmed chicken stock, remove, and rinse under cold water.

Place the cooked asparagus in the blender with 1/3 of the herb pesto and blend with some of the chicken stock until smooth. Set aside.

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the remaining Novello Olive Oil and 3 tbsp of butter over medium heat.

Add the onion and sweat until tender without adding any color to the onions.

Add the remaining garlic and sweat for another 30 seconds

Add the Arborio rice to the pan and toast the grains for 2 to 3 minutes to coat with the fat from the pan.

Add the Sauvignon Blanc, and gently stir until the wine is almost completely absorbed.

Add a ½ cup of chicken stock to the rice while gently stirring. As the liquid is absorbed, add more stock to the pan.

While adding stock to the rice, cook the tips of the Asparagus in the pot of chicken stock. Remove and set aside for garnish.

With 1 cup of stock remaining in the pot, add the Peas to the pan along with the asparagus puree.

Finish adding the chicken stock to the pan and season with the remaining Kosher Salt, Butter, and most of the Parmigiano Reggiano.

Serve the finished Risotto in a bowl, garnish with the asparagus tips, herb pesto, and a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.


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