Snap off the tougher ends of the asparagus and discard. Slice the stalks cut into 2-inch (5 cm) lengths and set aside.
To prepare the risotto: Pour the broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a slow simmer, then lower the heat, cover and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to the minimum, then keep warm.
In a large saute pan or a cast-iron braiser set over medium-low heat, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the risotto rice and stir for 2 minutes, until the grains are translucent around the edges. Add the wine and stir vigorously while the wine is bubbling up, scraping down the bottom of the pan to loosen the caramelized bits. Simmer until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1 ladleful of the broth and simmer, stirring from time to time, until the broth is almost completely absorbed. Continue adding broth, one ladleful at a time, allowing each ladle to be absorbed before adding more.
When there's about 1 cup of broth left, add the asparagus stalks to the risotto and stir to incorporate. Add ½ cup (125 ml) broth, stir and keep cooking until the broth is almost fully absorbed. Stir in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Stir until the cheese is fully melted and incorporated. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Taste the risotto and adjust the seasoning if needed. Stir in the remaining broth. The risotto should now be loose and super creamy. Cover and turn off the heat. The risotto can stand for about 5 minutes but should be served as soon as possible for the best texture.
SERVING: Serve the risotto in warm bowls, then garnish each serving with fresh basil leaves, lemon zest, a drizzle of flavorful extra-virgin olive oil, and some freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
STORAGE: This lemon asparagus risotto is best enjoyed within minutes of being made. If you do have leftovers, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days. To reheat, transfer to a nonstick skillet, add a couple tablespoonfuls of broth or water and warm up over medium-low until the risotto is loose and hot. Serve immediately.
MAKE IT VEGETARIAN: Make sure to use vegetable broth.
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