Asparagus, Mint and Lemon Risotto

Asparagus, Mint and Lemon Risotto

Holding still another bunch of fresh local asparagus right after making an asparagus and mint frittata the other day, I realized that I was quite taken with the combination of fresh asparagus and mint and decided to Google the pair for another idea. And what should show up on the first page but Jamie Oliver's asparagus, mint and lemon risotto … as in asparagus and mint and lemon and risotto! It was but a matter of moments to decide to copy it down, and of only a few hours to tailor the recipe to my needs and begin cooking.

As famous as Jamie Oliver is, I confess to never having made any of his recipes before. Maybe it's that slightly smarmy expression of his that puts me off, as though he thinks pretty highly of himself. On the other hand, if he can pull of this glorious combination of flavors so well as in this risotto, perhaps he deserves to wear that face.

As always with the traditional method of cooking risottos, be sure to stir constantly and methodically but not too energetically — you'll wear yourself out and start to cramp in the wrists otherwise.

Asparagus, Mint and Lemon RisottoAsparagus, Mint and Lemon Risotto
Recipe by
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Cuisine: Italian
Published on May 31, 2008

Creamy risotto cooked with fresh asparagus, mint and lemon

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 to 55 minutes

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup vermouth or dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • small handful of fresh torn mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • Snap the woody ends off the asparagus. Slice the stalks thinly except leaving the tips whole, and set aside.

  • Bring the vegetable stock to a good simmer in a small saucepan. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and half of the butter at medium-low heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until soft but not discoloured, about 15 minutes. Toss in the rice and stir to coat the grains. Pour in the vermouth or white wine and cook until the alcohol has evaporated, stirring all the while.

  • Begin adding the hot stock to the rice one ladleful at a time, stirring and waiting each time until the stock has been fully absorbed before adding the next, until half the stock has been used up. Now toss in the asparagus slices and tips, along with 3/4 cup of the remaining stock. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, still stirring. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn the heat back down to medium-low and stir until the liquid is absorbed again.

  • Add the rest of the stock and cook as before, stirring one ladleful at a time until the rice is cooked — it should be soft and creamy, but holding its shape. You may not need all the stock, especially if you prefer your risotto more on the al dente side.

  • Turn off the heat and stir the rest of the butter, the lemon juice, and most of the zest, mint and Parmesan cheese into the rice. Season with salt and pepper and cover for a minute to let the flavors mingle.

  • Serve with a scattering of lemon zest, mint leaves and Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Jamie Oliver's Asparagus, Mint and Lemon Risotto


Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Lovely Lisa. I do like risotto. I may try this one out on Graham. He isn't keen on asparagus, but I think he would like this.

I like Jamie Oliver, cheeky chappie that he is :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh this looks good! And just so happens I've got fresh asparagus on hand. . . and. . . some MINT. :)

Johanna GGG said...

I love asparagus in risotto but have never thought to try mint with it - will try and remember this when asparagus comes into season (have made a note of it)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

These combinations of flavour are some of my favourite Lisa:D

Chef Jeena said...

This risotto looks perfect. :-)

test it comm said...

That risotto looks good! I like the sound of using mint in it.

LisaRene said...

I love risotto and I love Jamie Oliver ;) I too get the feeling he may be a bit conceited but I do enjoy watching him cook, he's very entertaining in his carefree manner. This does sound like a winning combination of flavors.

TBC said...

I've never had a risotto before but would like to someday. And the addition of mint and lemon zest must have made it seem so light and refreshing!

Anonymous said...

This is amazing! I tried a very similar recipe with yoghurt. Check it out if you like!

Lucas said...

Parmesan cheese is not vegetarian... it uses animal rennet. Perhaps alter the recipe to suggest using an alternative. :)

Lisa Turner said...

Actually, you can buy Parmesan that is free of rennet. Of course, vegan Parmesan could be used too - it's often made from ground nuts and a hint of onion and garlic powder.