Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto


Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto pinterest

I hate to admit this, but spring is my least favorite season. There are just too many disappointing days, unmet expectations and in my neighborhood way too much wind. But with all its faults, spring brings us spring vegetables and my favorite of the spring vegetables is asparagus.

I love it when it is skinny and on sale at the grocery store. I love it mixed with shrimp and risotto. I love this recipe made for me first by my friend Maggie. She came to Utah to visit me a month or so after the birth of my first baby.  I stood in my kitchen a young mother and she stood a young chef. She prepared this meal in the days before I owned a garlic press and had never actually grated my own parmesan cheese. I watched in awe as she stirred and stirred the risotto and agreed with her when she told me that this was not a meal to make with a baby because it requires too much stirring time at the stove. Then we ate the risotto and it had to be the most flavorful, wonderful meal to have come out of my young and married student apartment.

Since that day, I own a garlic press and grate my own cheese and I have made this Risotto enough that it doesn’t seem too difficult or time consuming, because now days cooking for six always requires some effort, even for the simplest meals.

Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto (5 of 6)

Risotto is creamy, it’s naturally gluten-free, and when it comes out right, it is as good as dinner can be. There are a million different ways to make risotto, but this shrimp and asparagus is my favorite. Be patient with the process and it will turn out lovely.

Some tips: You need special rice, I usually find Arborio rice on the top shelf of the rice section of the grocery store. The constant stirring is how the outer grain of the rice softens and the consistency becomes creamy, so don’t set out to make this until you have 20 minutes that will be mostly worry-free.

Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto (6 of 6)

 

You will need:

1 bunch of asparagus, about one pound
1 1/2 pound of shrimp, peeled, deveined

8 cups of chicken broth
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 cups Arborio Rice
1 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
First step: start heating up the chicken broth. Pour the 8 cups of broth into a large enough saucepan and heat over medium heat. Watch it as you prepare the shrimp and asparagus to make sure it stays at a simmer. Adjust the heat as needed.

Cook you shrimp. I like to do this in a large non-stick skillet at medium-high heat. Add a couple of teaspoons of the olive oil, then add half of the shrimp, making sure to not crowd the pan. There should not be shrimp on top of each other. Cook on the first side until the tails start to curl and the side touching the pan turns pink. Quickly flip the shrimp and continue to cook on the second side until the shrimp are pink. The shrimp are done when the flesh is opaque-white and not translucent. It should take a total of 2- 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a plate and repeat with the second batch of shrimp. When all the shrimp have finished cooking, wipe out the pan with a paper towel.

Now it is time to cook the asparagus. Turn the heat to medium and add a teaspoon or so of olive oil. Add the asparagus to the pan. Stir the asparagus as it cooks until it turns bright green. As soon as it is finished cooking, remove from the pan and keep it on a plate. Don’t worry about covering the shrimp or asparagus to keep warm. That will just overcook it. We will add it back to the pan and reheat it at the end of the process.

Make the risotto. Add the remaining olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the large non-stick skillet. When the butter has melted, stir in the onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft, but not browned. It should take a few minutes. Stir in the 2 cups of Arborio rice and stir until the rice is covered with the fat. Continue to stir until the rice is opaque, but not browned. It should take 2- 3 minutes.

Now for the fun part. Start adding the stock 1 cup at a time. Stir the rice until the stock is absorbed. When the stock is absorbed, add the next cup of stock. Stir constantly. This should take about 20 minutes. Start your timer and pay attention to how much stock you have in your saucepan. At about 10 minutes you should be about half way finished adding stock, if you’re not, turn the heat up or down to compensate. After you have added about 6 cups of the stock, start tasting the risotto. It should be tender but have a bit of a bite to it. Continue adding stock until you reach this desired consistency.

Once the risotto is creamy and tender, stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 2/3 cup of the parmesan cheese. Add the asparagus and shrimp and continue heating until the shrimp and asparagus have warmed up, just a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve warm topped with parmesan cheese. 


Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto (1 of 6)

 

Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Creamy and delicious, risotto is worth the 20 minutes of constant stirring.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, about one pound
  • 1½ pound of shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 8 cups of chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups Arborio Rice
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. First step: start heating up the chicken broth. Pour the 8 cups of broth into a large enough saucepan and heat over medium heat. Watch it as you prepare the shrimp and asparagus to make sure it stays at a simmer. Adjust the heat as needed.
  2. Cook you shrimp. I like to do this in a large non-stick skillet at medium-high heat. Add a couple of teaspoons of the olive oil, then add half of the shrimp, making sure to not crowd the pan. There should not be shrimp on top of each other. Cook on the first side until the tails start to curl and the side touching the pan turns pink. Quickly flip the shrimp and continue to cook on the second side until the shrimp are pink. The shrimp are done when the flesh is opaque-white and not translucent. It should take a total of 2- 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a plate and repeat with the second batch of shrimp. When all the shrimp have finished cooking, wipe out the pan with a paper towel.
  3. Now it is time to cook the asparagus. Turn the heat to medium and add a teaspoon or so of olive oil. Add the asparagus to the pan. Stir the asparagus as it cooks until it turns bright green. As soon as it is finished cooking, remove from the pan and keep it on a plate. Don't worry about covering the shrimp or asparagus to keep warm. That will just overcook it. We will add it back to the pan and reheat it at the end of the process.
  4. Make the risotto. Add the remaining olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the large non-stick skillet. When the butter has melted, stir in the onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft, but not browned. It should take a few minutes. Stir in the 2 cups of Arborio rice and stir until the rice is covered with the fat. Continue to stir until the rice is opaque, but not browned. It should take 2- 3 minutes.
  5. Now for the fun part. Start adding the stock 1 cup at a time. Stir the rice until the stock is absorbed. When the stock is absorbed, add the next cup of stock. Stir constantly. This should take about 20 minutes. Start your timer and pay attention to how much stock you have in your saucepan. At about 10 minutes you should be about half way finished adding stock, if you're not, turn the heat up or down to compensate. After you have added about 6 cups of the stock, start tasting the risotto. It should be tender but have a bit of a bite to it. Continue adding stock until you reach this desired consistency.
  6. Once the risotto is creamy and tender, stir in 2 tablespoons butter and ⅔ cup of the parmesan cheese. Add the asparagus and shrimp and continue heating until the shrimp and asparagus have warmed up, just a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve warm topped with parmesan cheese.

 

Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto (2 of 6)

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto

  1. Asparagus still reminds me of our friend Maggie. She was in love with it – ahead of the times. I remember she even had one of those fancy asparagus steamers. Just on the premise that asparagus = Maggie, I know this recipe is going to be good. Trying it tomorrow

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