Asparagus Risotto Recipe

Asparagus Risotto Recipe Recipe

I recently made a rather unconventional risotto with bamboo. I chose bamboo because it has a very similar texture to asparagus, which is a very traditional element in risotto. You need to know the classics in order to come up with your own twist.

Lulu had a craving for the starchy arborio rice dish. Asparagus are in season so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to please my hubby and to share this recipe with you. Enjoy!


Yields: 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 cup melon-seed-shaped pasta
2 cups arborio rice
6-3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, warm
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons mushroom powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 cup aged yellow cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup romano cheese powder
1/3 cup parmesan cheese powder, + extra, to taste and for garnish
1 bunch asparagus
1-1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns, freshly ground
1 tablespoon truffle oil, for drizzling


Trim about 2 inches from the root. Cut the asparagus into 3-inch pieces. Blanch the asparagus for 3 minutes in boiling water then transfer into an ice bath. (Dip the heads of the asparagus for 2 minutes only). Drain thoroughly of all water, then pat dry on a paper towel. Do not overcook, as the asparagus will continue to cook in the risotto mixture later; it should be still tender and crisp and not mushy or you would have depleted all the healthy nutrients.

In a deep saucepan, sauté the coarsely chopped garlic cloves in oil until golden. Transfer about half the amount of garlic onto a plate and set aside. In the same saucepan, add the shallots, stir until light golden, then sauté the asparagus for about 3 minutes. Add a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of parsley. Remove from the heat and transfer to the same plate with the garlic cloves.

In the same saucepan, add 3 tablespoons of butter and wait until it bubbles. Add the garlic until light golden, then add the pasta and rice. The butter should coat all the grains. Add 1 cup of broth and stir constantly.

After bringing the liquid to a boil, add garlic powder, romano cheese and cheddar then lower the heat to medium low for about 15 to 20 minutes. Season with mushroom powder. Check the liquid and periodically add 1/4 cup of stock when all the liquid is absorbed.  Let simmer for another 15 minutes.

When rice is almost cooked, add the asparagus, remaining golden garlic, parmesan cheese and remaining butter. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Spray some truffle oil and sprinkle more parmesan before serving.

Bon appétit!


If you like other types of cuisine, check out the Indian equivalent to risotto called Biryani. It's a saffron-flavored basmati rice. You can also check out the Asian equivalent with Cantonese-style fried rice.

I think mixing macaroni with the arborio rice brings a lot more starch. The most similar shaped pasta to arborio rice is the melon seed shaped one. I buy the Mexican brand, El Mexicano "Semillas". It is sold in a 7 oz package.

I finely chop a chunk of parmesan and romano cheese and place the pieces in a mini food processor to obtain parmesan and romano cheese powder.

Coating each grain in butter prevents them from sticking to one another.

I lowered the salt because I added mushroom powder which is already salty. You can find mushroom powder in specialty stores like Whole Foods.

You can also use chicken broth, which is actually the more standard way to prepare risotto. My hubby is a vegetarian so I use vegetable broth.

To get a cheesy flavor and yellow color without the stringy cheesy bits, add it right after boiling the broth.

For the asparagus, remember to trim off a little piece from the root; it tends to be very fibrous. Another method is to snap off the asparagus. Hold the asparagus firmly between your fingers, bend it and the fibrous part will break and come off naturally.

It's important to pour ladlesful of warm stock. The key is to pour the liquid incrementally and never let the dish dry out, or it will burn the rice at the bottom.

For this dish, I used exactly 6 1/4 cups of broth. The quantity of liquid may vary depending on the heat of the stove and how long you're cooking the rice. At the end, I let it simmer uncovered, sometimes adding another 1/4 cup of liquid until I achieve the right consistency and level of doneness. I like the rice al dente, not mushy.

I usually follow Anthony Bourdain's advice by adding garlic, shallot and butter to my dishes. Read Kitchen Confidential, it's an awesome look at the restaurant business. 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on June 12, 2009.


[-] A Risotto Masterpiece! - Guest-Phil
That is the most perfectly cooked risotto dish I have ever seen. You show such attention to detail - I dig it. And your tips section is fantastic - a great resource.

I have tried so many times to turn my wife onto risotto, but she just doesn't like the starchy sticky texture. But she'll eat Hawaiian sticky rice - go figure.

Great post. Thank you for sharing this.

Phil Website Link
[ Posted at 8:36 AM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-FearlessKitchen
I really like the idea of using bamboo in risotto! It's a really creative idea that kind of livens up a traditional dish.

Fearless Kitchen Website Link
[ Posted at 9:32 AM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] Do you style... - Guest-JessicaFoodmayhem
every picture? Seriously, they always look perfect. I sometimes try to style a bit but then I just give up because I want to eat it.

Jessica@Foodmayhem Website Link
[ Posted at 9:47 AM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] I agree - Jackie
Isn't it hard? Here's a tip: I always make 2 plates. one for me to eat and one for the photo lol
[ Posted at 9:58 AM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] HEY! - Guest-nick
We just had an almost identical risotto. I had my hands on some actual black truffles so I used them instead of the oil, but nonetheless this is a very classic and very tasty risotto.

Your picture looks great!

nick Website Link
[ Posted at 9:55 AM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] Beautiful! - Guest-Erica
Hey girl! Your blog is gorgeous. Wonderful pictures. I love a good risotto and this sounds delicious- nice work.

Erica Website Link
[ Posted at 11:36 AM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] unconfidentialcook - Guest-unconfidentialcook
I just love risotto, usually make it with mushrooms, but this looks so fresh and summery. I think I will do...but will roast the asparagus, which gives it such a nice flavor and slightly crispy texture.

unconfidentialcook Website Link
[ Posted at 11:41 AM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-TheDuoDishes
For some reason, you were not showing up in the Google feed! Hopefully we fixed that, so we don't miss more of these. Delicious risotto. That looks like comfort in a bite. Perfecto.

The Duo Dishes Website Link
[ Posted at 11:50 AM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]

@unconfidentialcook: You're right. Roasting asparagus brings so much more flavor. I just wanted to have nice bright color.

Check out my other recipe, I also made a Garlic Cremini Mushroom Risotto.

[ Posted at 11:56 AM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-michaela
asparagus risotto is one of my favorite spring dishes.

i am going to paris for my second time this coming september. what do you think are "must do" things?

michaela Website Link
[ Posted at 12:20 PM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-TheFoodAddicts
your risotto with asparagus looks awesome. i've always been a big fan of risotto, but it sure is a pain to cook because you have to babysit it the whole time on the stove! but anyway... nice post!

The Food Addicts Website Link
[ Posted at 12:41 PM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] Re: Paris - Jackie

@ Michaela:
There are so many places to see and to eat in Paris. How long are you going to be in Paris?

You can go to Aux Lyonnais. It's a must-go place. It's Chef Alain Ducasse restaurant, it's much more affordable than his other fancy places. All locals go there and it is oh so good.

And of course le Jardin du Luxembourg, Musée Rodin, Jardin des Tuileries (Have a picnic over there. On sunny day, it's perfect!), la tour Eiffel. etc...

Hope this helps!

[ Posted at 1:13 PM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-CulinaryWannabe
I used bamboo the other day for the very first time. It kinda weirded me out at first, but I really like it and it was so easy to use.

Culinary Wannabe Website Link
[ Posted at 2:13 PM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
What a beautiful risotto. I still have to cook risotto, never made it but love the taste.

Hélène Website Link
[ Posted at 2:33 PM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-Sophia
Looks GREAT! By why are the cheese in powder form? What I mean is, can I use fresh grated?

Sophia Website Link
[ Posted at 6:56 PM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-Donna
This looks absolutely creamy and delicious..I have never perfected the art of making it,thanks for all your tips.

Donna Website Link
[ Posted at 7:55 PM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-CGtheFoodie
That sounds delicious!

CG the Foodie Website Link
[ Posted at 10:51 PM on 6/12/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-LorraineNotQuiteNigella
Very interesting, I've never seen a recipe using both pasta and rice but I can see how it would be quite nice together! Thanks for the recipe! :D

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella Website Link
[ Posted at 6:35 AM on 6/13/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-Kerstin
What a gorgeous risotto! I really enjoyed Kitchen Confidential too - great tips!

Kerstin Website Link
[ Posted at 11:52 AM on 6/13/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-Kerstin
What a gorgeous risotto! I really enjoyed Kitchen Confidential as well - great tips!

Kerstin Website Link
[ Posted at 11:54 AM on 6/13/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-Marta
Great dish to feature season's best and please your man! I love the presentation too... man, it sucks to have no fine motor skills like me!

Marta Website Link
[ Posted at 4:28 PM on 6/13/09 | Reply ]
[-] Eats Well With Others - Guest-Joanne
I LOVE risotto and made my first one a few days ago. This looks so delicious, asparagus seems like the perfect addition. I try to follow Bourdain's advice as well, that was such a great book.

Joanne Website Link
[ Posted at 6:58 AM on 6/14/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-joshidaniel
cooking is one art and presenting and serving is another art too! love your presentation!

joshi daniel Website Link
[ Posted at 11:45 AM on 6/15/09 | Reply ]
[-] Risotto - Guest-Jamie
Wow am I impressed! I have always taken myself for the Risotto Queen, but yours is amazing! What a twist on traditional asparagus risotto with all of those ingredients.

Jamie Website Link
[ Posted at 8:17 PM on 6/15/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asparagus Risotto Recipe - Guest-Sara468
I love asparagus risotto, it is one of my favorites. Yours looks very flavorful.

Sara Website Link
[ Posted at 5:40 PM on 6/16/09 | Reply ]
wow this is really detailed !
i'm going to love trying this sometime !

eden Website Link
[ Posted at 9:10 AM on 8/14/09 | Reply ]

Order my latest book:
Banh Mi

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