Shrimp Risotto with Goat Cheese, Asparagus and Lemon

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We’re pretty much at the end of asparagus season now and I wanted to make at least one more thing with the gorgeous spears I found. I made this risotto a week or two ago (why yes, I am behind on my blogging…), and it was the perfect way to use up the last bit of my goat cheese and a lemon that had been sitting on my counter with no clear use in mind.

Plus, every time I make anything with shrimp, Tom always says, “mmmm, I love shrimp.” It could be stir-fried in Windex and  I’m pretty sure he’d still proclaim, “mmmm, I love shrimp.”

I suppose I am suffering a bit of writer’s block here, but really, sometimes there is not much else to say about food. Here are the basics: the risotto was really delicious, easy to make, and used fresh, seasonal ingredients.  I will say this again and again (and again. and again): you don’t need to be complicated; you just need to  use good stuff.  There is some stirring/watching over the pot involved, of course, so you may not want to make this on a really hot day, but otherwise it’s a great spring or summer risotto.

Oh wait, here’s something –  if anyone has any tips for minimizing reflection in white plates, let’s hear ’em. I try not to keep the plates in a direct light source, and it happens with both artificial and natural light. These low bowls are particular nemeses of the non-reflective photo.

Shrimp Risotto with Goat Cheese, Asparagus and Lemon

Serves 2 (but you will probably want a side or an appetizer)
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4-6 asparagus stalks, tough parts removed and the rest cut into 1-2″ pieces
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup diced onion or 1 large shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup vermouth or dry white wine
2-3 cups chicken, shrimp or vegetable broth, kept warm on the stove
2/3 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 oz. goat cheese

Heat a pot of water to a boil, and then drop in the asparagus pieces. Boil for approximately 3 minutes before draining and adding the asparagus to ice cold water to shock it. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a heavy saucepan/skillet.  Add the onion or shallot and cook until translucent. Stir in the garlic until just fragrant and then add the rice. Stir the rice around for a couple minutes in order to “toast” it.

Add the vermouth/wine. Cook until it’s almost completely evaporated, and then add 1-2 ladels of the broth. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the broth has been absorbed, and then add another 1-2 ladels.  Keep stirring. Just before your rice is cooked al dente, add the shrimp and the lemon juice. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through and the rice is al dente (tender but with a firm bite in the center). Your risotto should be a bit loose – that is, ALL of the liquid should NOT be absorbed like regular rice.

Off the heat, stir in the lemon zest and goat cheese. Stir to combine and season to taste. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories: 389 / Fat: 10.4g / Saturated Fat: 6.9g / Carbs: 46g / Protein: 26.5g

Shrimp Risotto with Goat Cheese, Asparagus and Lemon

  • This dish speaks to me of Spring too. Your list of ingredients deepens the flavor with the garlic, broth and vermouth, enriches it with the goat cheese and then lightens it up with the lemon juice and zest. Very nicely done. And I’m sure it tasted better than Windex.

  • Mmmmm … I love shrimp! Seriously, though, I do love shrimp and risotto and my favorite risotto has always been a shrimp and fennel risotto I had once. This looks great with the asparagus and I love one pot dishes like a risotto–it migh tneed a little more attention and stirring time, but at least it’s one simple pot.

    I find the white plates to be reflective too, but they look generally nicer so I guess we gotta put up with it!

  • Why am I tortured like this. I LOVE goat’s cheese and I could eat risotto everyday!!! Good combo!!!

  • Sometimes pictures speak for themselves. Reflection or not the dish looks great!

  • Of course I love all of the flavors in this! Looks delicious 🙂

  • Yay for goat cheese in risotto 🙂 So perfect with asparagus and shrimp – yum!

  • Elly, your food has certainly been looking better and better.

  • Erin

    This looks delicious! I love risotto, but wished my husband liked it more so I could make it more often!

  • Ivy

    I love shrimp risotto but with asparagus it’s even better. We can’t find asparagus in Greece as often as we would like as 99% of production is exported.

  • If only asparagus grew here and didn’t cost an arm and a leg. This whole trying to eat locally thing is cramping my style (but I’m happy to do it)
    I totally know what you mean about getting writers block… I feel like I should say something, but sometimes, there really isn’t anything to say!

  • Isn’t the end of asparagus season sad? Like you, I made as many dishes as possible and thought I had my fill. That is, until I saw this risotto. Thanks a lot, Elly! 😉

  • Wow Elly, what a delicious risotto you have here. Drool worthy!

  • Risotto with goat cheese sounds like such a treat. I love goat cheese because it adds such a creamy flavor with so much less fat than real cream!

  • Part of my love of risotto and sipping on the wine in the dish while stirring the stock. A creamy, comforting dish.

  • Simple, seasonal, delish! I agree with Tom, I love shrimp pretty much any way. Although windex might be stretching it 😉

  • elly,

    i’m a real foodie and also a digital photography hobbyist (admittedly, i photograph more water lilies than anything else, but i have a similar problem because of the reflection of light on the water).

    PLAY WITH BOTH SHUTTER SPEED AND FILM SPEED. the problem you’re having is the camera is trying to compensate for light and shade and it doesn’t know what to do.

    LOVE this recipe, btw! can’t wait to make it!

    • Thanks for the tip, David! I really do need to sit down with my camera one of these days and actually read about it. I admit I’ve just been pointing and shooting without much else. 🙂

  • my pleasure, elly! food and cameras seem to be a common thread with a lot of us. can’t wait to start making some of your recipes.