There is an aura of mystery around the creation of the Italian risotto–but not with this recipe. It's streamlined for convenience and bursting with the springtime flavours of asparagus, mushrooms and herbs. All you need is a crisp green salad and a glass of wine to imagine you are in an Italian restaurant.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Grilling Time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 lb (500 g) Ontario Asparagus
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 Ontario Onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb (250 g) Ontario Mushrooms, sliced (about 4 cups/1 L)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) arborio rice (short-grain rice)
  • 2 cups (500 mL)chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each dried tarragon and basil
  • 1 can (385 mL) 2% evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL)chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper


Break off and discard tough ends from asparagus; cut into 1-1/2-inch (4 cm) diagonal pieces. In large pot of boiling water, cook asparagus, uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

In heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms; cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are softened. Stir in rice, chicken stock, tarragon, basil and milk; cook, stirring, until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Uncover, and cook, stirring, for 5 to 10 minutes longer or until thick and creamy. Stir in Parmesan cheese, parsley, pepper and reserved asparagus. Serve immediately.