Asparagus and Parmesan Risotto. I swear risotto has got to be to ultimate comfort food. Obviously, this isn't the fastest dish to make, but it is well worth it. There are so many variations of risotto, but lemon asparagus is my favorite!
What Type Of Rice To Use For The Asparagus And Parmesan Risotto?
Arborio. I mean, there are arguments otherwise, but let me tell you why I love this rice. It is high in a starch called Amylopectin, which creates a beautiful creamy texture when it is cooked. It is short-grain rice, and always my choice. Now, can you make it with other rice varieties, for sure? Will it taste delicious? Of course. But, for the best results, I say arborio.
The Process Of Cooking The Asparagus and Parmesan Risotto
Just know this is a dish that takes a little longer and needs a little babysitting. Let me line it out in the steps you will follow.
- Start by sauteeing your onions in a little olive oil.
- Add in your rice and garlic, cook them for a few minutes.
- Now, is the time-consuming part of the process. Add in your stock, only about a cup or 2 at a time. Let it cook down, then add in more.
- Continue this process of adding the liquid, mixing, and letting it cook in until the rice is tender.
- Towards the end of the cooking time, add in your asparagus. You don't want to overcook, so I add it with about 5 minutes left of cooking time.
- At the very end squeeze in your fresh lemon juice and grated parmesan.
Let's Get Started
I love to make mine in my enameled dutch oven. If you don't have this type of pan, just make sure whatever you use has a very heavy bottom. This will help to keep it from burning! Add oil to the heated pan. Once it is heated, add onions and saute.
You can be picky about the size of your onions, but I wasn't...as you can tell. this cooks for so long, no matter the size, they will be so soft you hardly notice they are there.
Add in your rice. Saute it with garlic. Let it cook for several minutes.
Now, start adding in a small amount of stock. I used a veggie stock as I already had some premade in the fridge. I will include the recipe below if you want to make your own. Now, what makes the risotto so creamy and yummy, is adding the stock in small amounts at a time and mixing until it is absorbed. Then add in the next cup and repeat.
It is important to stir frequently. You might have the urge to walk away and do something else. Resist that urge! Once you have decided to make risotto, you are committed :).
Prepping The Asparagus
When you are at the tail end of the cooking process, prep your asparagus. Wash the asparagus well, and cut off the tough ends. I usually end up cutting off between 1 and 2 inches, depending on how thick and tough it is! Then I cut it is about 3-4 inch pieces.
Add the asparagus and mix carefully for several minutes until the asparagus is cooked. Just remember, you don't want to overcook this, so only cook for about 2-5 minutes. The variation will be based on how thick the asparagus is.
The Last Flavor Add-Ins
Here comes the last add-ins, but ones you don't want to skip. Lemon isn't necessary, but definitely a plus. It is such a great flavor enhancer!! Especially with the asparagus and parmesan.
Last is the parmesan. Add it in and mix to combine. I only check for seasoning once the parmesan is added. It is a really salty cheese, so don't check for salt until this is added.
The Finished Asparagus and Parmesan Risotto
And here you do. It is delicious and also pretty healthy!
It makes the perfect side or even a meal. I ate this for a meal and felt like it was so filling!
Doesn't it look like spring?
I love lemon, so I always squeeze on a little more before servings.
Are you looking for other asparagus recipes? Let me share a few I love:
- Are you looking for a simple appetizer using asparagus? This asparagus wrapped in puff pastry is so good! No one can resist!
- I also love the combo of Farro, Asparagus, and Filet. It is such a great meal!
- My Simple Couscous Salad also features some beautiful asparagus as well.
- If you like salads, this Orzo and Roasted Veggie Salad also is a great one!
Simple Vegetable Stock
- 12 cups water
- 2 cups onions, rough chop
- 1 ½ cups celery, rough chop
- 1 ½ cups carrots, rough chop If you are using baby carrots, throw the whole carrot in.
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt This can be adjusted after the stock is finished. I like to make the stock with some salt to get enhance flavors.
- Add all ingredients to stock pot. Bring to a bowl over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer at least an hour. Depending on how hot your cooktop cooks, you may need to add a little more water. You want the stock to reduce, means plenty of the liquid will evaporate while cooking. This will leave rings around the edges of your pan when the level has gone down. Strain out veggies. I generally throw them away as they have turned to mush at this point. Taste your stock and add salt and pepper as desired.
Asparagus and Parmesan Risotto
- heavy bottom stock pot
- 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup onions, small dice
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 cups asparagus, chopped I love the large pieces, so I cut mine in about 3 inch long pieces. Make sure to cut off and discard tough ends!
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice This will be a personal preference, of course. I like a lot of lemon, so I always go with 2!
- 1 tablespoon parsley if you have fresh, that's great. If not, use dried like I did.
- ¼ cup parmesan Fresh grated is best, but use what you have!
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat stock over medium heat. Once it is boiling, reduce to low and hold it there while you are working.It needs to be hot when you add it in, so keep it on low. In another pot, make sure it is a heavy bottom, heat over medium heat. Add in olive oil to pan and heat for about 30 seconds. It will heat quickly. Add in onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, until tender and almost translucent. Add in rice and garlic. Continue to cook and stir for another couple minutes. Now, at this point, we will start slowly adding in the stock. Add in a ladle full of stock and stir. Continue to to stir until stock is absorbed. Add in another ladle full and continue cooking and stirring until The rice is creamy and tender. You don't want it to be mushy, just tender. Add asparagus with the last ladle full of stock. Cook it for about 3-5 minutes. It isn't a long cooking time as you will not want the asparagus to be limp, just lightly cooked. Mine took about 25 minutes to cook, I have found about 25-35 minutes has been about right. Next, add in the lemon juice, parmesan and parsley. Stir carefully to combine. I only say stir carefully as you don't want to break up the asparagus. Once the last ingredients are mixed in, add salt and pepper to taste. We like quite a bit of both, so I am generous. Once it is finished, remove from heat. It is best served immediately. If you have leftovers, it does reheat well too. Just know the asparagus will be soggy. The flavor is still awesome though!Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!