Asparagus and Saffron Risotto

Source: Chelsea -

15 Minutes
35 Minutes
Asparagus and Saffron Risotto

I love when asparagus appears at markets and in my Brewers Organics box, because asparagus indicates that it is finally Spring!  This risotto has a fail proof method to perfectly cooked, al dente risotto, without the constant stirring and babysitting!


Certain added vegetables have properties that prevent cancer.  The allium family of vegetables (think garlic and onions) have phytonutrients (i.e. plant compounds) that impede the growth of cancer! Rule of thumb, the stinkier the vegetable and the more colorful the vegetable, the more protective properties it has.  


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter (Hint: make sure it is unsalted, because salt can mask rancidity)
1/2 to 1 red onion diced


2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups arborio rice (must be arborio to make creamy risotto!)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1/2 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
7 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2 bunches asparagus (about 1 ½ cups), cut into bite-size pieces
3 cups spinach
1/2 cup good Parmesan cheese


Heat vegetable stock in saucepan. In a Dutch oven, sauté red onion over medium heat in hot olive oil and butter mixture, until red onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.


Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add rice, making sure to coat each grain with mixture. Add turmeric, saffron, and white wine to deglaze bottom.


Saffron adds gorgeous color to risotto-here’s how:


Place saffron in bowl, and mash/break it into a powder using the butt of a wooden spoon (or use a mortar and pestle if you have one), then rinse bowl with water and pour into rice.

Add hot broth, stir, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.


Add asparagus, and simmer for 5 minutes.


Add cheese and spinach, stirring until spinach is just wilted.


Taste, seasoning with salt and pepper.


Serve and enjoy!