Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan; add the saffron and leave to infuse.
Blanch the asparagus in a pan of boiling water until just tender. With a slotted spoon add to an ice water bath to cool, drain and set aside.
In a separate shallow pan, saute the shallots, and celery in 2 tablespoons of butter until they are cooked and soft but not browned.
Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add all the rice, stir it around into the other ingredients and slightly toast the grains without browning.
Raise the heat to high, add the wine and reduce it until nearly all of the liquid is absorbed into the rice.
Stir in the stock and lemon zest, reduce the heat, stir and leave to cook covered 15-18 until the rice is just undercooked (Checking after about 15 minutes to make sure no additional stock is needed. If the risotto looks dry, add some of the remaining stock).
Add the shrimp, and cook until pink (about 3 minutes).
Mix in the cooked asparagus, lemon juice, and chopped parsley.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in the remaining butter and taste for seasoning. Add salt as needed before serving.
Cooking times may vary from different brands of rice so check your package instructions and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
To use pre-cooked frozen shrimp, be sure to defrost and them first and add them at the end with the asparagus.
To remove the woody ends of asparagus, gently bend the end of each asparagus spear until it snaps naturally.
Blanch the asparagus just until they turn bright green. This is an easy way to tell when they are ready to remove from the pan.
Not a fan of asparagus? Use broccoli, peas, or spinach in its place.
Use freshly squeezed lemonjuice for the best possible flavor. Bottled lemon juice often tastes bitter.
Don’t have wine? Dry vermouth is a great substitute. I keep it on hand and often use it in recipes that call for white. It will keep in your fridge and it’s typically more affordable than white wine.
Love cheese in your risotto? Add ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese at the end.