Asparagus Risotto with Lemon and Basil

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A nice, fresh risotto for spring.

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins

Serves: 2

Dietary guidance: v 

Tags: main · lemon · italian · vegetarian · asparagus · risotto ·


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock (approx) - you can use vegetable stock for a vegetarian meal, but I like it with chicken stock
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces and steamed (I steamed it over the chicken stock while I was making the rice)
Zest from half a lemon
1 tsp fresh chopped basil (or one cube of TJ's frozen basil, which is what I used)
Salt & pepper to taste


Heat butter & oil together over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent and soft. Add some salt & pepper. At the same time, heat the chicken stock until simmering, and then keep it simmering during the rest of the process.

Add the rice to the onions, and saute for a minute or two until coated with oil & butter and slightly toasted. Add the white wine and let the alcohol cook off, about 1-2 minutes. Add a big ladle or two of simmering chicken stock, and stir. Let the rice absorb most of the chicken stock (it will take a few minutes), stirring frequently, until you see the bottom of the pan for a moment when you stir, and then add another ladle or two. Continue this process for about 20-25 minutes, until the rice is creamy and tender but with a little bit of bite (al dente), and you've used up all (or most) of the chicken stock. Add the basil and lemon zest. At the last minute, throw in the asparagus and stir it all together. Check the seasoning, and add more salt & pepper if needed.

Serves two generously (or two modestly, plus enough leftovers for one lunch the next day). Enjoy!

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