Asparagus Risotto

This recipe by

Claire Macdonald


Risotto can be a starter, or a main course. But only make asparagus risotto in the British asparagus season. The flavour of British grown asparagus is vastly better than asparagus flown in from southern American countries outside the UK asparagus season, which is approximately from the end of March till the end of June.


  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, skinned, halved and finely chopped
  • 450g British asparagus, the tough ends – not the spear ends – snapped off, usually about 2-3 cms., discard these tough stalk ends.
  • 375g risotto rice, usually Arborio, but can be Vialone Nano or Carneroli rices
  • 150 mls dry white wine
  • 1. .5 litres asparagus stock – see method –
  • Asparagus spears
  • 50g butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt, about 10 grinds of black pepper


Cut the asparagus stalks into chunks, keeping the spear ends separate and in a small bowl. Put the chopped stalks into a saucepan with 1.5 litres of water, and 2 Knorr stock jellies, I use chicken if I am cooking for us. If you are cooking vegetarian, use vegetable stock cubes. Bring this to simmer gently, for 10 minutes, then take the pan off the heat, cool for 5 minutes before blitzing using a hand held blender. This is your asparagus stock.

Meanwhile, in a wide saute pan heat the oil and fry the neatly chopped onion over moderate heat – it shouldn’t turn colour – for 4-5 minutes. Then stir in the rice, stirring for a couple of minutes. The aim is to coat each grain of rice with oil. Add the white wine and let it simmer gently till the liquid is absorbed by the rice as you stir. Then add the asparagus stock, a ladle at a time – if you don’t have a ladle, use a mug to add the hot stock from its pan to the rice. Let the rice absorb the stock before adding more. Lastly, stir in the asparagus spears, the butter, salt and black pepper. Stir, cook for a couple of minutes then serve on warmed plates. If you like, serve grated parmesan cheese with the risotto.

Claire Macdonald

Claire Macdonald is an award winning chef, cookery writer and hotelier. A passionate and early advocate of Scotland’s natural environment and organic food production, she is known for using the best of Scottish seasonal ingredients in her recipes.

You can see Claire in action on her website.

Why are you supporting Marriage Week

We celebrate our Golden wedding in June this year. To some, being married for 50 years is almost unthinkable – 50 years with the same person! Well, for a start and I can only speak for myself, but the past 50 years have flown by. It feels so much less. I don’t feel as old as I am, and I am still waiting to feel grown up.  And I am very firmly of the opinion that there are two  vital ingredients to help a marriage through the inevitable ups and downs. These ingredients, completely essential, are laughter and food. It’s impossible to  know which is the most important, but possibly food has the very slight edge on humour!

We all need to eat to remain alive. It’s as basic as that. But it’s what we eat and how we eat that really makes the difference to how we feel, how we behave, and which helps a marriage, a family, get the most out of life.

Any top-tips?

In our marriage, how we eat as well as well as what we cook is very important – Sharing a meal together around a table is a priority whereas sitting with a tray watching the TV will hinder good communication!  It means that we are not only eating but talking. I feel so strongly that lack of communication between a husband and wife is the reason for a marriage to falter. Food is the natural conduit to communication!

*Disclaimer: We hope you enjoy making and eating the food in these recipes. Marriage Week cannot be responsible for the outcome of any recipe you try from this site or any site linked to. You should always use your best judgement when cooking with raw ingredients such as eggs, chicken, or seafood and seek expert advice before beginning if you are uncertain about the health risks. Please take care when using sharp knives or other cooking implements, and be aware of heated cooking surfaces while cooking. Please review all ingredients prior to trying a recipe in order to check for the presence of substances that might cause an adverse reaction. We have not tested the recipes on this site and cannot provide assurances about quality, nutritional value, or safety.


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