Roasted Asparagus Risotto With Lemon Zest

One of my favorite things is Risotto.  Perhaps it’s my Italian roots coming out again, but I really do love this kind of rice.  I have a fabulous Roasted Asparagus Risotto that I’d like to share with you!  It will change your opinion of rice forever!

INGREDIENTS: (Use organic and fresh produce whenever possible)

  • 20 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for Vegan omit this & use Parma – see below)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. Roast asparagus by placing stalks, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper on a baking sheet and baking them in the oven at 350 F (180 C) for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.  You do not want this overcooked.
  2. Heat vegetable broth in a saucepan over medium heat; keep at a simmer while preparing risotto.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and celery until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Stir in garlic and arborio rice; cook and stir until rice is lightly toasted, about 5 more minutes.
  4. Pour white wine into rice mixture, stirring constantly, until liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir vegetable broth into rice, one ladleful at a time, allowing liquid to absorb completely before adding more while stirring constantly, about 20 minutes. Take the asparagus (which should have cooled down), and cut into 2 inch pieces.  Add to the risotto and stir.
  5. Remove from heat and mix in Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest. Serve immediately.
This is a wonderful side dish or it can be served as an accent to a hearty soup with salad.   Don’t forget some good white wine!
* VEGAN OPTION:  Parma is a non-dairy vegan Parmesan cheese substitute  that is just like regular Parmesan cheese. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and easy to find online:  vegan specialty store
Buon Appetito!

Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: 

TASTE…and See


4 thoughts on “Roasted Asparagus Risotto With Lemon Zest

    • One of my favorites. Thanks for pointing out the thing about the asparagus. Ugh. I accidently put it in the wrong spot on the recipe. I’ve fixed it now. I actually don’t put the asparagus in until I’m almost ready to serve it. If you cook it too long (as you discovered), it will get too soft. Sorry about that.

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