Asparagus and Parmesan Risotto

After one of those days where the best one can manage to scoff down is the stale remains of yesterday’s microwave popcorn, the thought of risotto for dinner is almost transedental. This risotto is sumptuous. It’s creamy, unapologetic and is the perfect anecdote to a bout of winter hungries. The asparagus brings a lovely woodiness to the decadence of the parmesan and the crème fraiche. Like all risottos, you can’t just slap this together. You must stir it with love. A risotto stirred with impatience simply doesn’t taste as good.


  • 1.5L chicken stock
  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 20g butter
  • 100g shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g aborio rice
  • big handful continental parsley
  • 100g grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup crème fraiche
  • squeeze of lemon


  1. In a large saucepan, bring chicken stock to the boil and let simmer on low heat throughout the process of cooking the risotto.
  2. Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus in a saucepan of boiling water for about a minute or two, drain and refresh under cold running water. Cut the tips from the spears and set aside, then finely slice the rest of the spears.
  3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat, add the garlic and shallots and cook for about two minutes, or until translucent. Dont allow them to brown. Add the rice then ladel in the simmering chicken stock, stirring continuously until it is absorbed by the rice. Continue to add the stock a ladel-full at a time until it is all gone.
  4. Once the risotto is cooked, stir through the parmesan and crème fraiche and add the parsley and asparagus, garnishing it with the tips and finishing with a squeeze of lemon.


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