Rugging up with Risotto

Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto

So, my second week of holidays and I have to say that I have now totally relaxed. I have also stuffed up my body clock, going to bed at all hours…sleeping during the day and staying up late at night…going back to work next week is going to be hell!

Last night my handsome man and I fell asleep on the couch at around 8:15pm and woke just after midnight…just a wee nap! Of course we were wide awake after that so decided a classic zombie film was in order. “Return of the Living Dead” and a bag of sweet chilli and sour cream potato chips and before we knew it we were hitting the sack at around 4:30am. Needless to say we were fast asleep on the couch later in the afternoon after a day out in the cold.

Groggy with sleep and a glass of wine in hand meant that some pottering in the kitchen was needed. It was cold outside and warm indoors, setting the scene for a creamy risotto. Fresh Asparagus in the fridge and Portabella Mushrooms in the pantry…all set to go. I always use butter – I love butter but you could use oil if you like and make sure you use the best parmesan you can find…It makes all the difference.


  • 50 g butter (use oil if you like, about a 1/4 cup)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • fresh asparagus trimmed and cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 250 g small portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup good parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 70g extra butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Heat butter or oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute gently for 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Increase heat to high.  Add rice and stir until completely coated with butter or oil and cook for 2 minutes. Add white wine and stir through until wine is almost absorbed.Add 1 cup of hot chicken broth, stirring constantly until most of the liquid is absorbed by the rice.Gradually stir in remaining broth 1 cup at a time; cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup.Heat 3 tablespoons oil and some butter in a large nonstick frying pan. Add asparagus and saute for 1 minute then stir in mushrooms. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until mushrooms just begin to colour.

Remove from heat and set aside and add to risotto when it is nearly finished cooking.

Risotto is ready after the last cup of broth has been stirred in and rice has thickened. If risotto is not ready, you can add hot water. It should be soft but with a little bite to it.Remove from heat and stir in extra butter, asparagus, mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper; top with additional shaved parmesan, if desired. Place lid on risotto and let stand for 2 minutes. This will help it become nice and creamy.