Asparagus Pesto Risotto
(2) Ratings

Asparagus Pesto Risotto

We've dressed up a simple risotto with asparagus, homemade pesto and grated Parmesan cheese - and stirred it to perfection. It's an absolutely delectable show stopper.

Prep Time: |
Cook Time: |
Makes: 6 servings


  • Pesto

  • 1 cup 250 mL fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp 5 mL salt
  • 1/4 cup 50 mL Crisco® Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • Risotto:

  • 6 cups 1.5 L chicken or vegetable stock, hot
  • 2 tbsp 30 mL Crisco Canola or Vegetable Oil 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups 500 mL uncooked short-grain Italian rice
  • 1 lb 500 g cooked asparagus, cut into ½” (1 cm) pieces 
  • 1/2 cup 125 mL grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Pesto: In a food processor, combine basil, garlic and salt. Combine with on/off pulses until finely chopped. Add oil and puree. Reserve.
  2. Risotto: Heat stock in saucepan. Heat olive oil in a large, separate saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cooking gently until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat well with oil. Add 1 cup (250mL) boiling stock. Cook, stirring until all liquid is absorbed. Continue to add liquid 1 cup (250 mL) at a time, stirring almost continually. Cook until all liquid is absorbed before each addition of stock. After 10 minutes of cooking, add asparagus. Continue adding stock until rice is tender, about 10 minutes longer.
  3. Stir in reserved pesto. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.


  • If you have any leftover risotto, combine 3 cups (750mL) cooked risotto with 1 beaten egg. Shape into patties about 3” (7.5 cm) in diameter and ¾” (2cm) thick. Heat 3 tbsp (45 mL) Crisco oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add risotto cakes and cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until browned.