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Creamy, buttery, comforting, and beautifully balanced with pops of flavour from lemon zest and mint — this is a satisfying summer spin on an Italian classic.

You will need

Serves 2

  • 20ml olive oil
  • 1 bunch of asparagus (approx. 8 pieces)

For the risotto

  • 50g plant-based butter
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup high-quality risotto rice
  • 100ml white wine
  • 2L hot vegetable stock
  • 1 handful mint leaves
  • 1 vegan parmesan block
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil

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10 mins to prep

  1. Step 1

    Place olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Break off the woody base of the asparagus and when the oil is hot, place in the spears. Do not move them for 3 minutes or until golden on one side, squeeze the juice of half a lemon in, let evaporate and take the asparagus out.

  2. Step 2

    In the meantime, slice the ends of the asparagus into rounds about 1cm thick and set them aside.

  3. Step 3

    In the same pan, add most of the butter and onion, fry gently until translucent, about 4 minutes on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the rice and cook for 30 seconds stirring to take up the flavour.

  4. Step 4

    In the meantime, add stock to a separate pot and bring to a boil then turn it off. Add warm stock one cup at a time, only stirring a few times to make sure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom.

  5. Step 5

    When the rice is plump and has only the slightest resistance to the tooth, fold through the sliced asparagus rounds. Roll up the mint leaves and slice the packed leaves really thinly, then stir it through the risotto. Pour in any juice that the asparagus may have made while resting. Grate in the vegan parmesan and the lemon zest and stir.

  6. Step 6

    Serve up with a teaspoon of the butter and top with grilled asparagus.

Recipe: Simon Toohey

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