Friday, June 21, 2013

Spring Cooking: Asparagus Risotto

This asparagus risotto recipe is one we've made for years, Husband Jeff and I have loved it from the start.  We made this because we were having a friend over for dinner and this seemed like the perfect springtime side dish incorporating the fresh asparagus I bought at the farmers' market.

Yes, risotto is a bit of work with all the stirring involved, but it's not particularly difficult.  I can understand why you would be intimidated by it, but I think you should try it out. 


Whole Foods Market Asparagus Risotto

When we make this recipe we only make half a batch since the full recipe makes a ton, but we keep the full amount of asparagus and Parmesan (this is Wisconsin, after all!).  With half of the recipe, we have enough for a meal plus a good amount of leftovers.

In the off-season, I use a box of cut frozen asparagus. 


  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
  •  3.5 cups broth/stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • Fresh cracked black pepper and salt
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated


Heat the stock up in a medium-size pot until it comes to a low boil.  You'll need this to be hot as you add it to the risotto pot, otherwise it'll slow down your cooking. 

Beautiful fresh asparagus
Lightly cook the asparagus in whatever manner you choose.  I'm not as fussy as the original recipe, I cook the asparagus all together rather than separating out the tips.  This time I used the "fresh vegetables" setting on my microwave and it turned out great.   Other times I just defrost the box of frozen asparagus and move on to the next step.  You should leave the asparagus a bit underdone since it will continue to cook in the risotto for the next 20 minutes.
Stir, stir, stir
In your risotto pot, saute the onion in the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the cooked asparagus and rice.  Add 1/2 cup of the broth and stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed.  Repeat adding liquid and stirring for the next 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. 

When the rice is finally done (sometimes it can take longer than 20 minutes), turn off the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and the freshly grated parmesan. 

Super-green risotto


Rich and creamy taste of spring.

We love this recipe and I love making it for new people so they can discover how great it is, so I was glad to make it for our friend.  Husband Jeff made this dish, and he did a great job.  Our friend thought it was excellent, so that's good.  I sent him home with leftovers since this makes so much.

Sonny D wouldn't try it even though he loves rice.  He might like it if he tried it, but getting a toddler to try a new food (let alone a green one!) can be quite difficult.  Hopefully some day he realizes what he's been missing out on. 


 Do you experience the phenomenon known as "asparagus pee"?  That's where pretty much immediately after eating asparagus, your urine smells funny.  That doesn't happen to me! I guess I don't have the enzymes or whatever causes it. 

If you have any recommendations for other risotto recipes you've made and loved, I would love to hear about it. Once upon a time we made jalapeƱo risotto.  We were worried about it being too spicy, but apparently jalapeƱos without the ribs and seeds tastes a lot like a green bell pepper (boring!).    

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!