Fresh asparagus-pea risotto


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Cooking time:
25 minutes
Preparation time:
10 minutes
4 to 6 servings
Roberto Caruso

Roberto Caruso


  • 1  bunch asparagus, preferably thin stalks, about 1/2 lb (250 g)
  • 2  garlic cloves
  • 1  large lemon
  • 1 tbsp ( 15 mL) butter
  • 1 cup ( 250 mL) rice, preferably arborio
  • 1 cup ( 250 mL) dry white wine
  • 10 oz ( 284 mL) can undiluted regular chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups ( 375 mL) water
  • 2  green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 cup ( 125 mL) prosciutto, cut into thin strips (optional)
  • 3/4 cup ( 175 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup ( 250 mL) fresh or frozen peas

Asparagus and lemon are a match made in heaven. Here, we’ve brought them together in an upscale creamy risotto–perfect for a springtime party, a light main or first course. Use vegetable broth in place of chicken and skip the prosciutto and you’ve got a delicious vegetarian entree.


  • Wash asparagus well, then snap off tough ends. Slice spears diagonally into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Finely mince garlic and grate peel from lemon. Squeeze out enough lemon juice to measure 1/4 cup (50 mL). Melt butter in a large wide saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir often for 1 minute. Add rice and stir until coated with butter, about 1 more minute.
  • Stir in wine, lemon juice and peel. Stir gently until rice absorbs nearly all of liquid, from 3 to 5 minutes. Then add undiluted broth and water, but add only 1/3 cup (75 mL) at a time. Stir almost continuously after each addition, until most of liquid is absorbed, before adding next amount. This is essential for a creamy texture. During this stage, prepare onions, prosciutto, if using, and cheese.
  • With last addition of water, add asparagus and peas. Continue to stir often until rice is tender and asparagus and peas are cooked, from 3 to 5 minutes. Mixture should be soupy. Then stir in onions, prosciutto, if using, and Parmesan. Serve immediately as one course of a special dinner or main course of a light dinner.

Nutrition (per Serving)

11.8 g
6.5 g
34 g
2.7 g
1.3 mg
200 mg
576 mg

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