Saffron Risotto with Asparagus


  • 3-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion , minced
  • Salt
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 pound of asparagus, tough ends snapped off and spears cut on bias into 1/2-inch thick pieces


Step 1: Bring broth and water to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting to keep broth warm
Step 2: Melt butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium heat; add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and translucent, about 9 minutes.
Step 3: Add rice and crumble saffron threads with fingers into pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until edges of rice grains are transparent, about 4 minutes. 
Step 4: Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until wine is completely absorbed by rice, about 2 minutes. 
Step 5: Add 3 cups warm broth and, stirring infrequently (about every 3 minutes), simmer until liquid is absorbed and bottom of pan is dry, 10 to 12 minutes.  Add asparagus about 3/4 of the way through the cooking process.
Step 6: Add more broth, 1/2 cup at a time, as needed to keep pan bottom from drying out (every 3 to 4 minutes), and cook, stirring frequently, until grains of rice are cooked through but still somewhat firm in center, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately in warmed shallow bowls.