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Saffron Risotto with Shrimp, Asparagus and Artichoke

by Lorena

My favourite risotto has to be the saffron risotto. I love its taste and particularly how it goes with fish and shellfish. I’ve served it before with pan fried swordfish (Javi’s favourite) and now this version. This saffron risotto with shrimp, asparagus and artichoke is perfect for a special occasion because it’s really delicious.

Many people are scared of making risotto but the truth is that it’s not complicated at all. You just need to be aware of all the steps and follow them carefully to get a delicious result. In the end it will only take you 20min from start to finish. I would say that the most important thing you need to consider that many ignore is that the rice should not be sticky and mashed. It should be al dente just like a nice pasta dish.

Every time I need to make stock I make it at home. It really doesn’t make sense to use a bouillon cube that’s full of flavourings, food preservatives and lots of salt that change the dish completely. Making vegetable stock is particularly easy because it only takes 30 minutes from the moment it breaks into a boil. What I usually do is chop the vegetables as I make my breakfast and then put them to cook while I shower. By the time I’m done the stock is ready to be used. You can have the stock ready from the day before as well as the first cooking of the artichokes and asparagus. That way you don’t have to have all those components in mind as you get ready to serve.

To grate the cheese for this recipe (because there’s obviously Parmesan cheese in this risotto) I used the KitchenAid Slicer / Shredder Stand Mixer Attachment. It’s really good for when you cant to grate a lot of something like in this case because you just turn on the stand mixer and forget the rest. It’s also amazing for grating carrots for a carrot cake :O!

saffron risotto

Saffron Risotto with Shrimp, Asparagus and Artichoke

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Medium
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal


For the vegetable stock

  • 50 g carrot peeled and cut into medium pieces
  • 50 g celery in medium pieces
  • 50 g yellow onion in medium pieces
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 3 litres water

For the shrimp, asparagus and artichokes

  • 150 g raw shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 6 artichoke bottoms ideally fresh or frozen, cut in quarters
  • 10 asparagus
  • unsalted butter
  • Olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

For the risotto

  • Olive oil
  • 100 g yellow onion finely chopped
  • 175 g arborio rice
  • 100 ml white wine
  • pinch saffron
  • 30 g parmesan cheese freshly grated. I used Grana Padano.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 g unsalted butter


For the vegetable stock

  • Place everything in a large pot and let it simmer for 30min (start counting from the moment it breaks into a boil).
  • Pass through a colander and keep the stock

For the shrimp, asparagus and artichokes

  • Remove the lower fibrous part of the asparagus. Boil water in a pot with a tablespoon of salt. When it starts to boil vigorously add the asparagus. Let them boil for 1 minute and then stop the cooking process by placing them in icy water for a couple of minutes
  • Discard the water from the asparagus and replace with fresh water. Add the juice from half a lemon and the artichoke bottoms. Bring the water to a boil and let them cook until you can easily go through the artichoke bottoms with a knife easily. Remove them from the cooking liquid and reserve.
  • When the risotto is a couple minutes away from being ready add a bit of butter and olive oil on a pan over high heat and add the asparagus and artichokes. Leave them still for a minute so they become golden and then turn them around. Repeat until they're fully golden and remove.
  • Add more butter and olive oil and repeat the process with the shrimp. They only need a minute per side to be ready. Remember to leave them still on the pan so they can go nice and golden.

For the risotto

  • Cook the onion in a bit of olive oil over medium heat until really soft, translucent and sweet in smell.
  • Add the rice and saffron and stir constantly for one minute.
  • Add the white wine and let it evaporate completely.
  • Start to add the stock little by little, stirring constantly until the rice is al dente.
  • Add the parmesan cheese to the risotto.
  • Adjust the level of salt and pepper and add more stock if needed. The consistency should be such that if you pass a spoon down the center of the risotto it should go back to its place easily.
  • Finish by adding the butter and mixing.
  • Serve with the artichokes, asparagus and shrimp.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CravingsJournal or tag #RecipeCJ!

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