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Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto

Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto 4.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian May 30, 2016

Red wine gives this risotto deep flavor and a lavender hue; crisp-tender asparagus contributes a pop of color and texture.

Where to Buy: Vegetarians avoiding cheeses made with animal rennet should look for domestic Parmesan that uses vegetable-based rennet, such as BelGioioso brand.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 4 cups store-bought or homemade mushroom broth (may substitute vegetable broth; see related recipes for Vedge Mushroom Stock and Scrappy Vegetable Broth)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms (may substitute your favorite variety of mushroom)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup cabernet sauvignon or other full-bodied dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded vegetarian Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish (see headnote)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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Combine the broth and the water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and add the asparagus. Cook until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the asparagus to a bowl. Reduce the heat of the broth mixture to low.

Discard the shiitake stems or reserve for another use (like broth). Thinly slice the mushroom caps.

Pour the oil into a large, wide pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the shallots, garlic and thyme; cook, stirring, until the vegetables start to soften, 2 minutes. Add the shiitakes and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften and wilt, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the wine is absorbed, 4 to 6 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add 1 1/2 cups of the broth and cook, stirring, until it is mostly absorbed. Continue adding the broth in 1/2-cup increments and stirring frequently after each addition, until most of the liquid is absorbed. The risotto is done when all but 1/2 cup of the broth is used and the rice is creamy and just tender, with a very slight al dente bite, 25 to 30 minutes total.

Stir in the reserved asparagus and cook for 1 minute, to warm it through. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Taste, and add more salt, as needed.

Immediately before serving, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of broth so the risotto is loose enough to spread in a bowl. (You don't want it to be stiff.) Divide among shallow bowls and sprinkle on more cheese and parsley, if desired.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "EatingWell Vegetables: The Essential Reference," by the editors of Eating Well magazine (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 340

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 6g 9%

Saturated Fat: 3g 15%

Cholesterol: 10mg 3%

Sodium: 830mg 35%

Total Carbohydrates: 49g 16%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: 5g

Protein: 13g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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