Bacon-Asparagus Risotto with Seared Prawns

Creamy and bursting with flavor, this seafood rice dish will transform any meal into a gourmet affair.

December 2011 | By
Bacon-Asparagus Risotto with Seared Prawns
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at a glance Main Ingredient

Fish and Seafood


Main Dishes

Preparation Time


Date Published

December 2011

Creamy, comforting, and bursting with flavor, this seafood rice dish will instantly transform an ordinary weeknight meal into a gourmet affair.  (Click to find more risotto recipes)

Serves 4  
Prep Time 20 minutes 
Cooking Time 40 minutes

For the risotto
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup coarsely chopped
      honey-cured bacon
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup chopped white onions
1/2 cup chopped leeks (white and light green parts only)
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 to 6 cups chicken stock, warmed
1 cup asparagus spears, trimmed,
      cut into 1-inch lengths, and blanched
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

For the prawns
12 medium prawns or 8 large tiger prawns,
      shelled and deveined with tails left on
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Make the risotto: In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and sauté bacon to render fat. Set bacon aside.

2  In the same pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter and sauté onions until translucent. Add leeks and saute until soft. Add rice and stir continuously; cook until edges of grains are translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.

3  Increase heat to high and add white wine. Cook until wine has evaporated. Add 1/2 cup warm stock and stir constantly until stock has been completely absorbed by the rice. Continue adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, waiting for each addition to be absorbed before adding the next. (This process will take about 20 minutes. You should add about 5 cups of stock in total.)

Once liquid is creamy and the grains are cooked but still slightly firm in the center, add blanched asparagus and bacon. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, juice, and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley and remaining 1 tablespoon butter; mix well.

Season prawns with salt and pepper. Divide prawns into two batches. Heat a grill pan or an iron skillet over high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and sear first batch of prawns just until color turns pink; set aside. Repeat with the remaining batch.

Portion risotto on individual serving plates and top each plate with 3 medium prawns or 2 tiger prawns. Serve immediately.


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