Risotto With Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Saffron



1 hour

total time


5 crimini mushrooms

About 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock, as needed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup minced onion or spring onion

Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups Italian arborio rice

1 pinch of saffron threads

1/2 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)


Slice and sauté asparagus and mushrooms. Put aside.

Pour the stock or broth into a saucepan, and bring it to a boil. Add the asparagus, and blanch for three minutes. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon or skimmer, refresh in a bowl of cold water, drain and set aside. Turn down the heat under the stock, and keep at a simmer with a ladle nearby or in the pot. Make sure that it is well seasoned.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet or saucepan, and add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until tender, about three minutes. Add the garlic and the rice. Cook, stirring, until the grains of rice are separate and beginning to crackle, about one to two minutes. Rub the saffron between your thumb and fingers, and stir into the rice.

Add the wine, and stir over medium heat until it has been absorbed by the rice. Begin adding the simmering stock, two ladlefuls (about 1/2 cup) at a time. The stock should just cover the rice and should be bubbling, not too slowly nor too quickly. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid is almost absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock, and continue to cook in this fashion — adding more stock when the rice is almost dry, then stirring — for 15 minutes. Then stir in the asparagus and the mushrooms and another ladleful or two of stock. Continue adding stock and stirring the rice for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the rice is cooked al dente and the vegetables are tender. Add more stock to the rice, and stir in the Parmesan, pepper and chives. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust salt. The rice should be creamy. Stir once and serve right away in wide soup bowls or on plates, spreading the risotto in a thin layer rather than lumping in a mound.


Serving Size




Total Fat

13 g

Saturated Fat

4 g

Unsaturated Fat

8 g

Trans Fat

0 g




1408 mg

Total Carbohydrate

82 g

Dietary Fiber

15 g

Total Sugars

20 g


29 g



1 hour

total time
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