Asparagus and Lemon Risotto with Arugula

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on April 4, 2010

I wanted to make a comforting, hot dish for those chilly, rainy evenings we’ve had recently. I used a beautiful bundle of asparagus (which is is season now) to make some risotto. Fresh peas would also be great in this dish. You can pretty much use any vegetable you like in this risotto, but my favorites are asparagus, peas or wild mushrooms. I also like to stir in some arugula to my risottos. The fresh, peppery arugula is a nice contrast to the creamy arborio rice.

I used a crisp, dry, Gavi white wine in the risotto. I then served the same wine with the risotto.

Below: check out the cute dishes I picked up at the local thrift store! They were perfect for serving risotto. I’m not sure what the spout is meant for, but it works well as a spoon rest. Next time, I think I’ll use these dishes for baked eggs.

Perfect Risotto Tips

- use a short grain risotto rice like arborio, carnaroli or violone
- take care not to brown the rice while cooking it in butter
- always use simmering hot stock, not cold stock
- make sure you only add one ladle full (about 1/2 cup) of stock at a time
- use a good quality dry white wine. I used a Gavi; a crisp, dry white wine from Italy.
- the wine must be at room temperature. Don’t add cold wine to risotto!
- don’t stir the risotto too much while its cooking (but do stir occasionaly!)
- risotto is done when it looks creamy, but the rice is still slightly al-dente
- for a creamier risotto stir in a little butter or cream at the end

Note: I dont like soupy risotto, so I cooked mine very aldente as you can see in the photo above. But the recipe below will give you a creamier, more moist risotto, which is how traditional risotto should be.

Asparagus and Lemon Risotto with Arugula Recipe
serves about 4

10 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups chopped asparagus
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups arborio or carnaroli or vialone rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup arugula leaves, shredded
1/4 cup or more grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
salt

Place vegetable stock on a large pot and bring to a gentle boil. Place the chopped asparagus in the stock and blanch for about a minute. Asparagus should be bright green and still crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the asparagus from the stock and keep aside. Reduce heat and keep the stock on simmer.

In a skillet, heat the butter and add arborio rice. Stir the rice on medium heat for about 2 minutes, or till it is fragrant (but don’t let the rice brown). Add wine to the rice and let is bubble away. When most the wine has evaporated, add one ladle of the simmering stock to the rice. Cook on medium-high heat. When the rice has absorbed most the stock, add another ladle full of stock. Repeat this process till the rice has cooked through (you may not use up all the stock).  Check the rice for doneness as you go. When the rice is done, stir in arugula, parmesan, lemon juice, zest and salt.

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Comments

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 VeggieLover April 4, 2010 at 6:19 am

I just happened upon your blog and really love this recipe. Asparagus, lemon, rocket and parmesan are amongst my favorite ingredients. Also, I am a vegetarian with a meat-eating partner so commiserate!

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2 Kaitlin April 4, 2010 at 7:33 am

Your photos are beautiful! This sounds really good. It’s so nice to see spring recipes again :)

I love those dishes! Finding something awesome at a thrift store makes me so happy!

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3 liz@zested April 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Beautiful photos! I pick up so many thrift store dishes for photos but have few actual matching plates – it’s always a mix-and-match affair when people come over for dinner.

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4 Soma April 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Asparagus and lemon is Mmmmmmm… for me. I love those cute plates. its been a while since I visited the thrift store. Time i go and pick up some treasures.

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5 elra April 4, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Thanks for the good tips Sala, now I can understand why yours look so perfect!

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6 Parita April 4, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Very flavorful risotta! Stunning pictures!

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7 Katerina April 5, 2010 at 5:28 am

I love asparagus and lemon risotto, and the idea of adding arugula is lovely.

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8 kathy April 5, 2010 at 5:34 am

Its nice of you giving us useful tips. Thank you so much. :-)

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9 Cool Lassi(e) April 5, 2010 at 8:16 am

dear,
first time here. your space is simply fabulous. love the risotto and definitely love the presentation.

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10 Ulla April 5, 2010 at 11:02 am

This is was a TOTAL hit at Easter! Thank you! We omitted the arugula(did not have it in house) but it was so good!

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11 foodzone April 6, 2010 at 5:03 am

Amazing dish and amazing site. First time to your blog and i’m in love with it. Love the way to you present and the pictures are just awesome. Interesting recipes!

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12 Sandie {Inn Cuisine} April 6, 2010 at 6:15 am

You’ve combined 3 of my favorite foods: risotto, asparagus & lemons! What’s not to love? :)

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13 Rosa April 6, 2010 at 8:09 am

A lovely and refined spring risotto! Yoiur shots are so fresh and beautiful!

Cheers,

Rosa

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14 Pavithra Srihari April 6, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I am not a big fan of Rissotta but this one makes me really go for it. I should applaud you for the great pictures . Of all I just fell in love with your blog, amazing layout,excellent pics and wonderful collection of recipes.I am glad I visited this and will come often.

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15 Padhu April 6, 2010 at 6:11 pm

wow fantastic pics and nice recipe!!

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16 nandini.p April 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm

I love the idea of combining lemon and asparagus!. Risotto is my all time favourite , never ventured to making at home. Simply because i think it would be complicated..
But yours look so tempting and beautiful!!. The bowls are adorable!.

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17 Alli April 6, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Yum, my favourite risotto and it looks beautiful with your wonderful photography.

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18 Malar Gandhi April 7, 2010 at 5:19 am

Looks delicious…

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19 Treat and Trick April 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Hi…looks so yummy and great pictures too…..

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20 RedChillies April 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Beautiful and stunning pictures. We love asparagus at home and the only way i use it is to bake them. This is a good idea.

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21 indosungod April 8, 2010 at 12:30 am

You do have an eye for these cute and very useful bowls. This rice is even more delicious served in those. Meant for cereal perhaps (drink the milk later through the spout?)!!

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22 lisa April 8, 2010 at 11:59 am

What a wonderful fresh and flavorful dish! I need to make risotto more often — thanks for the great tips too!

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23 Maija Haavisto July 20, 2010 at 5:58 am

Did you know you can make risotto in the microwave (adding all the liquid at once) and the result will be just as good as the traditional method on the stove? No kidding! Since I learned this I’ve made risotto a lot more often, since the stirring always felt like a lot of work.

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24 Shayari March 2, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Very much mouth watering,
Thnks for the awesome dish

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25 Tiffany August 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Hi,
This looks great and I was planning on trying it tonight. How long does it take to cook, approximately? Also, in the recipe you don’t add the asparagus back in or did I miss it?

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

You add the asparagus back in at the end. Cooking time will be approximately 20 minutes

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26 Eva January 25, 2014 at 11:45 am

I cannot wait to try is recipe for a dinner party! But i only have limes, will still work fine intead of the lemons??
Thank you!

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Yes!

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