Shrimp Risotto with Goat Cheese, Asparagus and Lemon


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