Lunch with Mario Batali: Asparagus Risotto

I’ve roasted it, tossed it into salads, and stuffed it in enchiladas. But truthfully, I don’t usually do much with asparagus besides steam them and dunk ‘em in mayonnaise.

My neighborhood’s Gourmet Club had our monthly dinner last weekend (Tuscan-Themed) and Asparagus Risotto was one of the dishes served. It was so delicious with our Lamb Osso Buco that I decided to make it for myself this week. It turned out to be quite a nice lunch that I prepared especially for… Me. Yep, just me and Mario Batali (er rather, his recipe).

Here’s the How-To on how to prepare Asparagus Risotto:
Here’s what you’ll need… dry white wine, olive oil, asparagus stalks & tips, Parmesan, butter, red onion, broth/stock and risotto.
Some of the asparagus stalks are pureed with a small amount of water.
Red onion is sauteed in butter & olive oil.
Risotto is then mixed in… wine poured over and stirred until evaporated.
Grab a large cup of patience… and a half cup of warmed chicken broth. Add a half cup of broth and stir fairly often until the broth becomes absorbed. Repeat with another half cup, etc., etc…. for 15 minutes. Don’t leave it all alone on the stove. Give it your full attention for best results :)

Dear Mario, Yes, I’m aware that this risotto would be infinitely better if I had used a rich and flavorful chicken stock. Next time I have some homemade stock, I promise to make it again the Mario way ;)
Stir in the remaining stalks and tips & stir for about 5 more minutes.
When risotto is tender with a slight firmness still attached to it, remove it from heat and add asparagus puree…
…and Parmesan.
This was one yummy lunch. Just for me. I treat myself pretty well, don’t ya think? The only thing this dish was missing was a big glass of white wine to accompany it. I thought it would be wise to avoid the scandal of being the tipsy PTA Mom picking her child up from school, so I quickly nixed that idea.

Guess I should let asparagus take the lead in dishes more often… and let it live a life beyond the underappreciated steamy side dish.

This recipe can be found HERE.

Leave a Comment

45 Responses to “Lunch with Mario Batali: Asparagus Risotto”

  1. 1

    Eliana — April 23, 2009 @ 3:19 AM

    This looks incredible. And so suitable for Spring. I love that you called your asparagus sexy ;)

  2. 2

    Lisa — April 23, 2009 @ 2:35 AM

    I love asparagus!! Love it! This looks delicious!

  3. 3

    Ciaochowlinda — April 23, 2009 @ 3:42 AM

    I like that you treated yourself so well and made this dish just for you.

  4. 4

    patsyk — April 23, 2009 @ 3:44 AM

    I love risotto! I make mine in the pressure cooker though so it is much faster. I’m going to have to try this one soon… and maybe I won’t share it w/the family! ;)

  5. 5

    Jeff — April 23, 2009 @ 4:03 AM

    My culinary experiments with asparagus end up about the same: olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a grill. I really need to branch out more especially since asparagus is starting to pop up everywhere here.

    I died of laughter when I saw the close up that was labeled because it reminded me of Wayne’s World Extreme Closeup.

    Perfect way to take asparagus from a side dish to the main star. Nicely done!

  6. 6

    Lisa — April 23, 2009 @ 4:05 AM

    Asparagus is so plentiful and inexpensive right now. This looks great and your pictures look fabulous!

  7. 7

    Bridget — April 23, 2009 @ 4:31 AM

    Love the close-up! ;)

  8. 8

    Mindy — April 23, 2009 @ 4:56 AM

    I love asparagus too, but never make anything time-consuming with it because my husband detests it! Maybe I’ll make a batch for myself one of these days…

  9. 9

    Curt McAdams — April 23, 2009 @ 5:56 AM

    I’ve thought of doing an asparagus risotto, though I keep going back to mushroom. With asparagus season here, I may have to add some grilled tips to my next risotto!

    That first shot makes me just want to eat the asparagus raw, though!

  10. 10

    Dana — April 23, 2009 @ 6:58 AM

    Yum! Looks delicious and so seasonal. I love the puree in there – great color and flavor enhancer. I’ll take some please!

  11. 11

    Maria — April 23, 2009 @ 6:58 AM

    Looking good! That is my kind of meal.

  12. 12

    justeatfood — April 23, 2009 @ 7:08 AM

    Absolutely gorgeous! Serve with a big glass of wine and indulge!

  13. 13

    LilSis — April 23, 2009 @ 7:09 AM

    Awesome! I don’t make a lot of risotto, but I LOVE asparagus and this looks like my kind of lunch! Thanks! I’m going to try this soon.

  14. 14

    carrie @ — April 23, 2009 @ 7:14 AM

    YUM!!!! oh my that looks delicious!! i just LOVE the beautiful fun layout of your blog!! ;-)

  15. 15

    megan — April 23, 2009 @ 7:17 AM

    This might be the perfect side dish for my weekend dinner. Gonna do steak and morels with asparagus but this would be even better!!!

  16. 16

    Janet — April 23, 2009 @ 7:18 AM

    Loved this recipe, and your “sexy asparagus” shot! Hey, we have to treat ourselves from time to time too!

  17. 17

    Manggy — April 23, 2009 @ 7:51 AM

    Oh, yum! Check out that green hue. Sure sign of goodness interspersed throughout. I love asparagus and I’m sure this was amazing! :)

  18. 18

    Michelle — April 23, 2009 @ 8:45 AM

    You got me. I thought you were going to dish on lunch with Mario himself. LOL
    I love asparagus roasted best, but your recipe looks really great too.

  19. 19

    Melissa — April 23, 2009 @ 9:21 AM

    Lunch with Mario sounds wonderful. I’ve only succeeded with risotto a couple of times and it’s been asparagus risotto. But I really like this particular recipe for he asparagus puree. I bet that really brings it to a blissful state.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  20. 20

    The Duo Dishes — April 23, 2009 @ 9:30 AM

    We could eat asparagus any day, and risotto (with a few mushrooms!) is perfect. But it’s just as good in aioli.

  21. 21

    RecipeGirl's Mom — April 23, 2009 @ 9:32 AM

    Sounds and looks scrumptious! You can invite me for lunch anytime.

  22. 22

    Helene — April 23, 2009 @ 9:51 AM

    Beautiful dish!

  23. 23

    ChefBliss — April 23, 2009 @ 10:35 AM

    This looks warm and wonderful! Great pictures too! And I have a prize for you today!!

  24. 24

    snooky doodle — April 23, 2009 @ 11:19 AM

    oh what a nice view !! just delicious!

  25. 25

    Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer — April 23, 2009 @ 11:35 AM

    DAMN incredible looking!! Just yummy looking!!

  26. 26

    Elle — April 23, 2009 @ 12:07 PM

    Lori, that looks incredible! I’d like a big old bowl of that right now.

  27. 27

    Bunny — April 23, 2009 @ 5:13 PM

    This is so pretty as well as good! Your dinner group makes some pretty darn good food!

  28. 28

    zenchef — April 23, 2009 @ 6:17 PM

    I think you treat yourself really well! :-)
    That’s some sexy risotto all around. Nice job!

  29. 29

    Aimee — April 23, 2009 @ 5:20 PM

    Sure beats my lunch,Lori,wow. It looks beautiful!! I’ve got the stock in the freezer–just need the asparagus now.

  30. 30

    Lynda — April 23, 2009 @ 6:08 PM

    This looks o delicious! I’ve been using lots of asparagus this spring and this would be a great meal!

  31. 31

    Elyse — April 23, 2009 @ 6:52 PM

    Mmm, that asparagus is quite sexy!! Your risotto looks perfect. Mario would be so proud. Talk about a delicious dish. I want some right now!

  32. 32

    Jude — April 23, 2009 @ 9:01 PM

    Such a nice recipe. I really appreciate the detailed step by step photos.

  33. 33

    VeggieGirl — April 24, 2009 @ 3:50 AM

    LOOOVE MARIO!!! And risotto :-D

  34. 34

    Ben — April 24, 2009 @ 4:50 AM

    OK, I now how I am going to use that risotto rice I have left from my party. It looks amazing!

  35. 35

    Cate O'Malley — April 24, 2009 @ 7:05 AM

    That looks fabulous! Love asparagus, but have never made risotto so it just might be high time to get to it.

  36. 36

    Gloria Chadwick — April 24, 2009 @ 8:49 AM

    This looks really delicious. You and Mario had a great lunch. Congrats on winning my cookbook at Chef Bliss. :)

  37. 37

    Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella — April 24, 2009 @ 6:54 PM

    That looks scrumptious! I love asparagus and this looks like a fantastic recipe. Love the pear shaped bowl too! :)

  38. 38

    Kerstin — April 24, 2009 @ 7:02 PM

    What a beautiful spring dish! Fresh asparagus is just the best.

  39. 39

    rhyleysgranny — April 25, 2009 @ 12:10 AM

    Mmmm I love risotto. Never thought of using asparagus. One to try I think. Looks lovely

  40. 40

    Kevin — April 25, 2009 @ 10:30 AM

    What a nice spring risotto. I am looking forward to the fresh local asparagus.

  41. 41

    Peter — April 26, 2009 @ 7:28 AM

    Gorgeous and simple…like the decorated asparagus heads on the top.

  42. 42

    Lynn — May 4, 2009 @ 6:38 PM

    My daughter made this for our dinner and it was wonderful! Thanks for the recipe.

  43. 43

    Susan — May 28, 2009 @ 7:57 AM

    Going to try this, it looks really yummy!

  44. 44

    Chelsea — August 30, 2010 @ 7:56 AM

    This recipe looks delicious! I’ve never made risotto, but I was stumbling for one to try and I think I’ll be attempting this version! Thanks for the great recipe!

  45. 45

    JudyGM — March 27, 2014 @ 5:54 PM

    This is wonderful. Your directions with photos are great. Some of the very best risotto I’ve ever eaten. Thanks for posting the recipe!