Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 5 ounces wild mushrooms, cooked and coarsely chopped, approximately 3/4 cup
  • 7 ounces asparagus, cooked and cut into 1-inch pieces, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

In an electric kettle or medium saucepan with a lid, combine chicken broth and white wine and heat just to simmering. Keep warm.

In a large 3 to 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the grains are translucent around the edges. Be careful not to allow the grains or the onions to brown.

Reduce the heat to low. Add enough of the wine and chicken stock just to cover the top of the rice. Stir or move the pan often, until the liquid is completely absorbed into rice. Once absorbed, add another amount of liquid just to cover the rice and continue stirring or moving as before. There should be just enough liquid left to repeat 1 more time. It should take approximately 35 to 40 minutes for all of the liquid to be absorbed. After the last addition of liquid has been mostly absorbed, add the mushrooms and asparagus and stir until risotto is creamy and asparagus is heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, lemon zest, and nutmeg. Taste and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

*Cook's Note: If fresh wild mushrooms are not available, reconstituted dried mushrooms can be used instead. Place 2 ounces of dried mushrooms into a bowl and cover with warm water. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes or until all the mushrooms are soft and pliable.

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    73 Reviews
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    Much like some of the other reviews here, I'm not a fan of nutmeg and I hate lemon zest in anything! So I made the recipe without either and doubled the amount of mushrooms, and it was wonderful. Creamy and al dente without the grains being undercooked and crunchy, or mushy and overcooked. I also added a bit more parmesan than the recipe stated and some fresh cracked black pepper at the end. Love this recipe because it's simple to follow and the dish comes out perfectly.
    I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of nutmeg so I normally skip it. In fact I didn't miss the nutmeg or the lemon this time. I used every bit of the liquid and probably 30-40 minutes stirring away. I like to roast my asparagus: sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, 450 for 15 minutes or desired tenderness. I also used re-hydrated Shitake mushrooms. If you do re-hydrate, don't forget to squeeze out the excess liquid after draining. Then chop and saute in a little butter. This was very comforting, creamy and nutty. It ended up the superstar of the evening. It tasted so good we put the protein back in the fridge and made it our meal. I think we'll make it again it with a nice small piece of sea bass. Small so we can keep the risotto portion generous! YUM!
    Very very tasty!! My family LOVED it!! Perfect blend of flavors and I followed the recipe exactly as written.
    Oh my goodness this was AMAZING!! It was my first time making risotto so i cannot compare it to anything but it was quite delicious...Do not be discouraged by other reviews...it is very good just how it is...but i did add a little less nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon...and double mushrooms and asparagus. I would give this recipe 5 stars no question..but my only problem was that the rice was partially hard (al-dente..which was disappointing because i love the creaminess and the flavor! Ignoring that...MAKE THIS RECIPE!! It...is...great...and i will DEFINITELY make it again! =]
    Alton, this was the first time I made risotto at home here....made it at culinary school a few times, but this formula is much MUCH better and EASIER! Love the depth of flavor that comes from the final addition of the lemon zest and nutmeg.....the zest brings an unexpected brightness that's just subtle enough, and the nutmeg brings a down-home warmth that I adore! Paired this with braised short ribs and man! is it good! Thanks and have a great evening!
    Great recipe Alton!
    All was fantastic till I added the lemon zest and nutmeg.. Would have been so much better without it. I will eat it, but I don't care for it.
    I just made this recipe, and every grain of rice got eaten. My 4 year old helped me clean the muchrooms and snap the asparagus, which made ti taste that much better. I doubled the ammount of asparagus and mushrooms, next time I'd tripple it. I also used beef broth instead of chicken broth to deepen the flavor. Perfect for a winter night or a weekend dinner with friends. Overall, I'd definitely make this again.
    Really loved this dish. I made it a second time omitting the mushrooms, because I felt they overwhelmed the asparagus the first time around. Instead I just added a bit of lemon zest which kept every fresh and light. I put a video up on my site at NoRecipeRequried.
    Delicious!! Added some chicken breast to make a complete meal.
    Loved it! I have wanted to try making risotto for some time but have always been a little intimidated. I have a new found love for mushrooms, and a little time on my hands so I went for it. So much easier than I thought it would be to make and it tasted great! I did only use half of the parmesan because I find the flavor a little overpowering. All in all, a dish I would definitely make again :)
    After Christmas time, it is a good idea to have some healthy food :-) All my family loved it ! I aslo tasted another recipe with salmon and asparagus on bestoffrenchfood website. Easy and healthy, what else to have a nice dinner ?
    Another hit. I didn't use the lemon zest thou. I kinda was a bit unsure about the nutmeg but it seemed to round it out a bit. I'm not a huge fan of Parmesean although I used it in this batch. I think in the future I may use 1/2 parmesean for consistency and 1/2 pecorino ramano.
    We made this for Thanksgiving dinner using dehydrated porcini mushrooms. Due to the last minute rush to serve dinner, I forgot to put on the parmesean cheese.
      Despite that, everyone loved it! One person described it as "a religous experience."
      You'll avoid a lot of trouble with the recipe by watching the Alton Brown's video.
    As with others I followed the directions to the letter, got the desired creamy texture but was not pleasantly surprised to end up with al dente risotto. I believe the inability to control an electric oven to be the culprit and next time I will use a Coleman gas stove for better control.  
    Well I knew before I took on the project of cooking risotto for the first time that I would have to do it low & slow. I think 2 cups is a lot of rice so I'm guessing this recipe is meant to serve alteast 6? Anyways I figured I'd cut the amount of time I had to spend laboring over the rice stirring it to assure the starches were released by cutting down the recipe to 1 1/2 cups of rice as I did want left-overs. I ladeled in the warm broth mixture 2 spoon fulls at a time and did so in 3 batches. However, on the 3rd batch I added the cooked mushrooms & aspargus as directed when the liquid was almost gone and I think because I used freshly cooked baby 'bellas I sped up the cook type of the rice (cooked mushroom asbsorbed the rest of the liquid). I ended up finishing off the rice only to taste it and realize it was a little too al dente. This was my stupid mistake as I should have obviously tasted the rice before adding the rest of the ingredients. I ended up putting it back on the stove adding 1/2 cup of water (as I already used all my broth) and stirring on low for about another 20 minutes. Overall cooking 1 1/2 cups of rice (not the 2 cups as called for) took me 70 minutes. I think I would have been done closer to 50 minutes had I not made the mistake. I'm looking forward to using the left over risotto to make stuffed rice balls (Arancini di Roso), something I saw Giada do on her show. Actually, this is one of the reasons I even bothered with all the fuss of making risotto! Overall I think this is a really good recipe, I'm just not sure I'm a big enough fan of risotto to labor over rice!
    Amazing risotto. I followed to directions first time and it was great. However, the second time I let wild dried mushrooms rehydrate in the broth and added .5 g of Spanish saffron. Best risotto ever and blew A LOT of people away. Its my go to dish when I want to impress now.
    I really liked this. I used a wine broth instead of the wine and chicken broth. I thought the flavors were great, but my husband found it too bland. One of my children who is fond of veggies loved it as well.
    I agree with the previous postings that the nutmeg is a little overwhelming (use less - don't omit) but the dish is very flavorful and was a nice addition to the white fish I made. I also found that the cooking time was a little longer, I wonder if this has anything to do with the age and brand of rice? I bought mine two days before serving and needed one extra round of liquid...... Over-all a great recipe that I will make again. A little side note, make sure your onions are VERY finely diced. I chopped mine a bit to big.
    This was my first attempt at risotto and it was fantastic! Didn't quite use all the broth, and used aged white cheddar, but turned out beyond what I expected. My entire family loved it!
     Thank you A.B. A great way to introduce me to the network website!
    I thought I would save money at the store by buying big containers of plain rices. However, I realized I have to find my own recipes. I found this recipie and gave it a whirl. It was a BIG hit! It turned out amazing. I did put a slight spin on it though. I found that I was out of Parmesan, so I used Brie instead. Just wonderful! I will be making this more often.
    This recipe was super delicious! I must say though that some of the other reviews might have scared me off, but what is not to love with risotto, mushrooms, parmesan and asparagus?
     Follow the instructions explicityly! Do not try to speed it up--yes it does take about 35 minutes or so. Cook on low heat for the whole time and follow the directions. What you have is a delightful side dish with extraordinary flavor. And yes, use the nutmeg (very subtle) and the lemon. What you have is a multi-level flavor extravaganza.
    First time for me making Risotto. I've never made rice as a side dish before, I've always used it as a bed for a meat dish. I was inspired by the episode and finally decided to try it. It took me about 50 minutes for all the liquid to absorb and it took 4 batches. I kept the heat on low (just a bubble or two) and uncovered over a gas stove using a enameled 6 qt dutch oven. Kept the wine/broth mixture just at a simmer (always covered else it'll evaporate) and grilled the Asparagus. I left out the Mushrooms (My wife hates them) and omitted the nutmeg. I'll agree with the consensus here, too much lemon. Maybe use a quarter teaspoon of zest at most. Otherwise I found the instructions to be spot on. It turned out great for my first time. Real crowd pleaser and I will do it again soon.
    Creamy and Delicious!! Very Easy to prepare!! I omitted the asparagus, but followed the recipe exactly otherwise. I cooked on very low temperature for approximately 45-50 minutes and it was wonderful :-) A keeper!
    I was thinking this wasn't going to take longer than 45 minutes, ended up being more like an hour and a half to get it all together. But...OMG. The flavor was amazing!! I used vegetable broth and no wine to accomodate my dads diet(and he didn't care for it) but both my mom and I thought it was wonderful!! The creamy texture is worth the time!! Oh, and as a side note, if it starts to look hard at one point, just add water and let that soak in before continuing with the broth, to give it more moisture. You are going to have some hard bits in there, it's a given, but it's so good you just munch away!!
    i made this at my friend's house for potluck dinner, prepped the mushrooms and asparagus at home. followed the recipe to the letter, except for the wine, i ran out so went with rose. it came out very well! my friends are asking me for the recipe. it's straightforward, just needs a lot of stirring. a good quality, thick bottom pot will do the trick to playing with the heat; some reviews were talking about the liquid evaporating too fast or taking too long. that may be why.
     another great one, AB!
    I too watched the episode first and Alton makes everything look easy. I did a practice run before a dinner party. For the practice run, I followed the recipe to the letter and wound up with hard rice and not great flavor. I learned my lesson, lowered my cook temperature (if you cook it at to high a temperature too much of the liquid will evaporate and not soak into the rice), added about a cup more chicken stock towards the end, and actually ended up covering the pot for the last 10-15 min of cooking. The rice was cooked perfectly doing it that way. I used an Italian 5 cheese blend instead of parmesan and that added to the flavor and creaminess. Everyone raved over the flavor, it was a major crowd pleaser.
    This is the first time I have made risotto, and wow - it was so easy! I watched the episode "do the rice thing" first, which was helpful in knowing when to add the broth. I know I can always count on an Alton Brown recipe. :)
     I used approximately 8 cups of broth (omitted the wine) total, and it took roughly 45 minutes. I didn't have an electric kettle, so I just set the broth to a low simmer on the burner next to the cooking risotto. I didn't measure the lemon zest - just added the zest of one entire lemon, which I thought added a very nice depth of flavor, but wasn't "lemoney" at all.
     I think that the people who posted it taking 1 1/2 hours to cook... the burner may be set too low. Remember that the "low" setting on various stove tops is not a standard "low" setting - it's different depending on what type of stove and what size burner you put it on. Set the burner too high, and your liquid will evaporate too fast, leaving the rice hard and you will need to use extra broth. Set the burner too low, and it will take forever to cook. I cranked up the heat until it was at a very gentle simmer, then backed it off a bit so that very few bubbles rose to the surface.
    I am usually a fan of everything AB makes but this recipe was horrible. The Arborio was still hard after an hour and all the liquid the recipe called for was gone. I kept my liquid a simmer the entire time and still the rice was hard. After it was finally done it had an overly sweet taste. After seeing how he made red sauce and meatball I should have known this wouldn?t be good. ?He is no Mario
    I've been making risotto for over 40 years in so many ways I can't begin to tell you. I've NEVER cooked risotto longer than 30 minutes so if it's taking you longer, you either have the heat too low or your liquid is not hot enough.
     This recipe is excellent since lemon and asparagus are a natural combination but I have to agree that 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg is waaaaayyyy too much. I use nutmeg often in sauces such as bechamel, alfredo and scalloped potato sauce. The nutmeg is there to draw out and intensify the original flavors and give the dish a more complex depth of flavor. It should never be tasted. If you can taste the nutmeg, you are using too much. I can't understand why Alton used so much in this recipe. I used 4 or 5 scrapings, hardly 1/8 tsp. and it was plenty. No mutmeg taste but the flavor of the dish was excellent.
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