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Lemony Risotto with Shrimp and Asparagus

September 1, 2009

Risotto in the summer?  Yes!

Lemony Risotto

Risotto is never light, however, it doesn’t have to always feel so heavy.  I found that this recipe, with it’s lemon flavor and light ingredients, was the perfect warm weather risotto.  It was refreshing instead of rich. When I first starting making the dish, I was skeptical about the lemon but I found that I actually liked the flavor.  I ended up adding extra zest to the pot to make it even more lemony.

Lemony Risotto with Shrimp and Asparagus

Featured in Gourmet Magazine, May 2009


3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 1/4 cups Arborio rice

1/4 cup dry white wine

3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1/4 cup grated parmesan

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


Bring broth and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add asparagus and simmer, uncovered, until just tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer asparagus with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to stop cooking, then drain. Keep broth at a bare simmer, covered.

Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed.

Stir in 1/2 cup broth mixture and briskly simmer, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is creamy and tender but still al dente (it should be the consistency of a thick soup), about 18 minutes. (There will be leftover broth mixture.)

Stir in shrimp and cook until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in asparagus, zest, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, parmesan, parsley, and pepper to taste. (Thin risotto with some of remaining broth if necessary.)

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