Asparagus and shallot risotto with crispy shallots

Marcus Bean / 03 May 2013

Make the most of the British asparagus season with this luxurious risotto recipe.

Preparation time

5 minutes

Cooking time

35 minutes




  • 5 British shallots
  • 1 cloves of garlic
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 75g of unsalted butter
  • 250g good quality Arborio risotto rice
  • 200ml of a good quality dry white wine
  • 750ml of vegetable stock
  • 8 British asparagus spears
  • 150g parmesan or vegetarian alternative
  • 1 lemon
  • Sea salt crystals
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tbsp of freshly chopped chives
  • 100ml of double cream
  • 50ml milk
  • 1tsp self-raising flour


To make your risotto base, finely slice 3 shallots, crush and finely chop your garlic and add to a pan with the oil and butter. Allow to soften, then add your dry risotto rice and stir until the rice is coated in the butter. Add the wine to the rice and stir until it has been absorbed.

In a separate pan, heat the vegetable stock. When the rice has absorbed the wine add the stock, a small ladle at a time, allowing it to absorb before adding the next ladle. Keep stirring the rice to stop the risotto from sticking and to make sure it cooks evenly. Continue to do this until you have used most of the vegetable stock.

To finish the risotto, chop the asparagus into small pieces keeping the tips whole and add to the risotto.  Add the remaining hot stock, stir together and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Then add the parmesan, some freshly-squeezed lemon juice, a touch of sea salt and pepper, stir and taste. Add the chopped chives and the cream. Taste again, if you’re happy with the flavours and seasoning, serve straight away.

For a nice crunch, finely slice some shallots into small rings, place in the milk, then dust in the self-raising flour. Mix, then drop into some hot vegetable oil at about 180c. Fry until golden, remove and rest on some kitchen paper, season and sprinkle over the top of your risotto.

Thanks to for permission to use this recipe.

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