Spring Asparagus Risotto – it’s easier than you think

overhead view of white plate with asparagus risotto

WAIT......before you scroll away thinking there's no way you can make this Spring asparagus risotto, I'm here to tell you that YES, you absolutely can!

The first time I made risotto I wondered what the heck took me so long!  Yes, there's a bit of stirring.  But there's also something really beautiful and meditative about standing over a pot of arborio rice and watching it transform into creamy risotto. 

There's nothing complicated about making risotto.  It's literally stirring broth into rice, waiting for it to incorporate and then adding more broth.  This is one of those dishes where shortcuts really don't work.   But, I promise, the extra time it takes is so incredibly worth every minute!

If you follow me on Instagram I talk all the time about using cooking as a form of self care.  That cooking can be an incredible way to recharge at the end of the day.  You can use it to create space and transition at the end of your day from work to home.  Whether you work inside or outside of the home, use cooking as a time to shut off distractions.  Put on your favorite playlist.  Call a friend.  Open a bottle of wine, or make your favorite mocktail.  Use this time to connect with cooking in a new way that brings you joy and by shifting your mindset you'll find yourself looking forward to cooking!

So, grab your kids or your spouse or hop in a call with a friend.  Open a bottle of wine (I love drinking this one), or pour a sparkling mocktail and let's cook delicious Spring asparagus risotto together! 

And don't forget to share your photos #amenuforyou so I can see your delicious risotto!

And if you're looking for another risotto recipe, try the risotto all milanese

QUESTION CORNER

CAN I USE WATER INSTEAD OF BROTH?

Technically, yes.  Water will work, but you'll be sacrificing a ton of flavor.  You really do need to use broth for max flavor!  

CAN I USE VEGETABLE BROTH INSTEAD OF CHICKEN BROTH?

Absolutely!  If you want to keep the recipe vegetarian, you can absolutely use vegetable broth instead of chicken. 

CAN I SKIP THE WINE?

If you don't drink wine or would rather leave it out, you can absolutely leave it out.  

WHAT KIND OF WINE SHOULD I USE?

Whenever you cook with wine, you should always use wine you'd drink.  If you wouldn't pour yourself a glass, then use a different wine.  If you don't have white wine, rosé will absolutely work!

CAN I MAKE THIS AHEAD?

This is a little bit of a tricky question. If you can, risotto is really best made and then served right away. BUT, if you do want to make it ahead, you can gently reheat it. When you refrigerate it, your risotto will firm up. You'll most likely need to add more broth and extra butter to bring it back to a creamy state. Put it back on the stove in a heavy pot and warm it over low heat. As it warms, it should loosen a bit, but if it doesn't add a splash (around 1/4 cup) of broth and an extra pad of butter.

Spring Asparagus Risotto

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Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound  asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • cups  chicken broth (use homemade if you have it!)
  • tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1/2 cup  chopped onion
  • 1 1/2  cups  arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup  dry white wine
  • tablespoons  (3/4 stick) butter
  • 3/4  cup  freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • Garnish with fresh chives and fresh Italian parsley

Instructions

  • One of the great things about this recipe is you can choose how you want to cook your asparagus. It’s important to cook it before adding it the risotto; otherwise you'll have raw asparagus. My favorite way to cook the asparagus is to roast it. In a large bowl, toss asparagus generously with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread it out in a single layer on a sheet pan, then roast at 425 degrees for 5-10 minutes, depending on how thin the stalks are. You can also grill it. Or, last but not least, is blanch the asparagus. This is a fancy word for bringing a large pot of water to boil, then adding asparagus and cooking it for about 2 minutes. Drain the blanched asparagus and set aside.
  • Once you’ve decided how to cook the asparagus, the next step is to prepare the Arborio rice. This is usually a good time to rally any available children to help. What better way to bond with your kids, than taking turns stirring the risotto?
  • Bring chicken broth to simmer in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and keep broth warm.
  • Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir 3 minutes. Toasting the rice is an important step because it opens up the rice and allows it to better absorb the flavors and the broth.
  • Add dry white wine and cook until liquid evaporates. Keep stirring rice, and add the warm chicken broth 1 cup at a time. When the rice seems to soak up the broth completely, it’s time to add another cup of broth. Stir the rice constantly the entire time. The rice mixture will become more creamy with each addition of broth. It should take about 20 minutes to add all the broth.
  • Add asparagus pieces and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Add 6 tablespoons butter and stir until incorporated. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese. Season risotto to taste with salt and pepper.
Have you made this recipe?I'd love to know! Leave a comment or recipe rating and tag me @amenuforyou on social media!

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