Prawn, Asparagus and Saffron Risotto with Dill and Lemon Butter

Prawn, Asparagus and Saffron Risotto with Dill and Lemon Butter

Difficulty Level


  • 1 1/5 litres / 2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
  • large pinch of saffron strands
  • 350 grams / 12 oz asparagus
  • 50 grams / 2 oz butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 300 grams / 10 oz risotto rice, such as arborio
  • 150 milliliters / 1/2 pint dry white wine
  • 200 grams pack frozen raw prawns in shells, thawed
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
  • salt
  • pepper


Heat the stock in a large pan with the saffron strands. Cut the asparagus into diagonal 2.5 cm / 1 in lengths, then add to the stock and cook for 4 - 5 minutes until just tender. Fish out the asparagus using a slotted spoon, then cool quickly under running cold water and set aside. Keep the stock warm. Heat half the butter with the oil in a large heavy pan. Add the shallots and cook gently for 5 minutes; do not allow to colour. Stir in the rice and cook gently, stirring all the time, until the grains are glistening. Add the wine to the pan and let it bubble up, stirring all the time. When the rice has absorbed the wine, add a ladleful of the stock. When it is absorbed, add another ladleful, continuing this until the rice is plump and tender and the stock is absorbed, stirring all the time (takes about 20 minutes). Meanwhile, shell the prawns. melt the remaining butter in a wide pan. Toss in the prawns, stirring all the time until they are evenly pink. Add the asparagus and heat through, stirring. Add the prawns, asparagus and buttery pan juices to the risotto, stirring them in along with the chopped dill and lemon rind. Taste and season if necessary. Serves 4

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