I love Spring time! The weather this year is unusually nice and the flowers are coming out early. With that, asparagus has seemed to enter the supermarket with a vengeance. One of my family’s all time favorite dishes to make that still has some heartiness but celebrates the freshness of spring is my asparagus and shrimp risotto.
If you have ever watched Hell’s Kitchen, you’ll see Chef Ramsey always cursing at whomever is making the risotto as it never seems to pass muster. Trust me – the difficulty of risotto is for TV drama only! It’s so easy that my husband (who has no cooking experience) was able to cook it by himself after I gave him the recipe.
It’s also a recipe that you can do with your kids. They can help with the required constant stirring or help snap the bottom of the asparagus to make sure you don’t have any part of the fibrous ends. Depending on how many hands you want in the kitchen, someone can also be in charge of sautéing the asparagus and shrimp while the other one focuses on the risotto (cutting down on total time in the kitchen but still providing family and friend interaction).
Hands on time: 40 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- Approximately 1 lb of shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1/2 lb asparagus, chopped in 1/2 inch slices
- 3 1/2-4 cups of chicken stock (or one of those “boxes” of chicken stock)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small to medium onion diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped or minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Zest of one lemon
- Parsley for garnish
- In a medium sauce pan, add all the chicken stock and bring to a boil. As soon as it’s boiling, lower the heat so that it remains simmering.
- In the mean time, in a sauté pan over medium heat, add about 1 Tbsp of olive oil, add the chopped asparagus, a dash of salt, a dash of pepper, and sauté until it turns a bright green (about 2 minutes).
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the asparagus and set aside.
- In that same pan, add about another 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil and the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until pink (about 5-7 minutes).
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the shrimp and set aside.
- In a second in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add onion and sauté until tender (about 3-5 minutes). Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Add the rice and cook the rice for a 1-2 minutes.
- Add the wine and stir the rice constantly until most of the liquid is absorbed
- Using a ladle, add the chicken stock, one ladle-ful at a time. Keep stirring the rice and add more chicken stock once the liquid from the previous ladle has been absorbed (about 4 minutes in between each liquid addition).
- Once the rice is “al dente” or cooked where there is a bit of a bite, but not mushy (like pasta), stir in the Parmigiano cheese, lemon zest, and some salt and pepper.
- Stir in the asparagus and shrimp. Serve with some chopped parsley on top and a slice of lemon.