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Asparagus risotto

Today's Throwback Thursday recipe comes from June 2010.


It's Throwback Thursday again and today we have a recipe from June 2010.

As part of this weekly series, we’re sharing some older content from our magazine to help look back at what the Irish food scene was like when FOOD&WINE Magazine started.

Today's recipe comes from former deputy editor and current F&W restaurant reviewer Aoife Carrigy. This asparagus risotto recipe comes from the wine and food matching segment of the magazine, where the wines featured in Raymond Blake's monthly wine tasting piece were paired with a delicious, easy-to-master recipe.

Commenting on this recipe, Aoife said that "When we find ourselves in the height of the short local asparagus season, which runs to the end of June, we should honour this revered vegetable by gathering several bundles of it together with some fine wine and good foodie friends."

Read on for Aoife's risotto recipe.

Asparagus Risotto

Serves four

  • 500g asparagus, cleaned
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 300g risotto rice (preferably carnaroli, but arborio or vialone nano will also do)
  • 1 glass white wine (preferably the wine you are serving it with)
  • 1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 60g Parmesan, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • Zest and juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1–2 tablespoons chervil, chopped (optional)


  1. Heat the oil together with one tablespoon of butter and gently sweat the onion and celery with a little salt, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile simmer the asparagus spears in boiling water for a few minutes until the tips become tender. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and drain. Remove the tips and set aside. Trim the white tough ends from the green stalks and cut the green part into one-inch diagonals. You can add the trimmings to your stock for extra flavour (and if making stock from bouillon powder, you can use the cooking water as your base).
  3. Once the celery has softened and the onion has become translucent and sweet, add the rice and cook for another three to five minutes on a medium heat, stirring well so that the grains get an even toasting.
  4. Add the wine and cook so that the alcohol burns off and the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add the pieces of green asparagus, and begin adding a ladle of hot stock at a time, stirring until all each ladleful has been absorbed.
  6. When the rice is almost cooked, stir in the asparagus tips, reserving one or two per person as a garnish.
  7. Once the rice is al dente, stir in the lemon zest and chopped chervil, if using. Add the remaining butter, stirring vigorously to emulsify. Stir in at least half the Parmesan, or to taste, reserving the remainder to serve at the table. Check seasoning (be generous with the fresh black pepper) and sharpen with a little lemon juice to taste. Stand for a minute or two covered.
  8. To serve, divide the risotto between four warm bowls, each garnished with a tip of two and an extra sprinkling of Parmesan on top.

TIP: A note on risotto rice: Arborio is the most easily sourced of the three, but it can lose its shape and produce a dense risotto. Carnaroli, another superfino (large) grain rice, holds its shape better and absorbs a lot of liquid to produce a creamier, more elegant risotto. Finally, vialone nano is a semifino (short) grain rice that is suitable for robust, rustic risottos.

We’ll continue our Throwback Thursday series next week, so keep an eye on our website.

Read more: Baileys coffee meringue roulade with toasted almonds