Lemon Asparagus Risotto

By Jansen Andre


  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 125g asparagus spears
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Garnish

  • 400g can pure coconut cream
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • Crusty bread of your choice
  • Edible flowers (optional)


  1. Preheat grill or grill pan over medium heat. Drizzle asparagus spears with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill 5-7 minutes, turn occasionally, until tender and lightly charred. Set aside for garnishing.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onion becomes translucent and fragrant.
  3. Add the Arborio rice to pot and stir to coat grains with oil, onion, and garlic mixture. Toast the rice for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until it becomes slightly translucent around the edges.
  4. Pour in vegetable broth, one cup at a time, stirring continuously. Allow each cup of broth to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next cup. Continue process until all broth is used and rice is al dente. It should take 20-25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, trim grilled asparagus spears into smaller pieces and set aside for garnishing.
  6. Add frozen peas to risotto in last 5 minutes of cooking. Stir gently to allow them to warm through.
  7. Once risotto is cooked and the liquid is absorbed, remove pot from heat. Stir in nutritional yeast, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Allow risotto to rest for a couple of minutes to allow the flavours to meld together. Remove the thyme sprigs.
  9. To serve, ladle lemon asparagus risotto into bowls or plates. Top each serving with a few pieces of grilled asparagus spears.
  10. Garnish with additional lemon zest, if desired. Serve the lemon asparagus risotto warm and enjoy!

Note: Risotto is best enjoyed immediately after cooking while it’s creamy and flavourful. If needed, you can reheat leftovers gently on the stovetop with a splash of vegetable broth to revive the creamy texture.