Shrimp and asparagus risotto

Gluten Free, Soy Free

2 Servings, 640 Calories/Serving

45 Minutes

Cutting back on food waste is an important part of what we do at Sun Basket. It's not just good for the planet— it also offers new opportunities to build flavor in a dish. For this spring risotto, we make a broth from the tough ends of the asparagus and the green leek tops— parts of the vegetables that would typically be discarded but instead lend an added layer of taste. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp; you want to preserve the contrast of their succulent texture against the creamy rice.


  • 6 ounces asparagus
  • 1 to 2 leeks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo chili (optional)
  • Fresh dill
  • 1 lemon
  • 10 ounces wild Gulf shrimp
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan



Make the broth

In a small sauce pot over medium-high heat, bring 3 cups water to a simmer.
  • Trim the tough stems from the asparagus and reserve. Cut the spears into 1-inch-long pieces.
  • Cut the dark-green tops from the leek, and reserve. Cut the white part in half lengthwise and then into thin slices. In a bowl of water, soak the slices, allowing any dirt to settle at the bottom.
  • Smash 1 garlic clove. Cut the remaining clove into thin slices.
Add the asparagus stems, leek tops, smashed garlic, and the bay leaf to the simmering water and season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the broth is flavorful, 10 to 12 minutes. While the broth simmers, begin the risotto.


Cook the risotto

In a pot over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking.
Lift the leeks from the bowl, leaving behind any grit that had settled on the bottom. Add the leek slices to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds.
Add the Arborio rice and as much of the Aleppo chile as you like. Stir until the rice turns opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Add ½ cup white wine, if using. Strain the broth into the pot. Discard the asparagus stems, leek tops, and the smashed garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until most of liquid has been absorbed and the rice is creamy, 18 to 20 minutes.


Finish the risotto

  • Chop the dill leaves.
  • Zest the lemon and cut the fruit into wedges.
Stir the asparagus pieces and shrimp into the rice. Add ½ cup hot water if the pot seems dry. Cover and cook until the asparagus is tender and the shrimp is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.



Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the Parmesan, dill, and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to individual bowls, and serve with lemon wedges on the side.


Chef's tip

Adding a little white wine to risotto before adding the rest of the liquid tenderizes the rice and gives it a boost of acid and flavor.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 640, Protein: 30 g, Total Fat: 14 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Cholesterol: 115 mg, Carbohydrates: 102 g, Fiber: 6 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 970 mg

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