Put asparagus in large skillet of salted, boiling water. Return to boil; boil until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain well; spread on paper towel to cool. Cut into 1-inch lengths; reserve. In small saucepan, bring broth to simmer; reduce to lowest heat possible to keep warm. In larger saucepan, saute shallot over medium heat in olive oil until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in rice until well coated with oil. Cook rice, stirring constantly, another minute or two until rice is opaque. Stir in lemon zest. Deglaze with white wine, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 cup hot broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until broth has been absorbed and mixture thickens. Risotto should cook at a lively simmer; adjust heat as necessary. Continue process, using half-cup of hot broth at a time, making sure rice absorbs liquid before adding more. Continue adding broth. When rice is just tender, stir in reserved asparagus and shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp is pink.
The risotto should be very creamy, not soupy or gummy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
California Asparagus Commission
Fresh asparagus adds the perfect herbaceous, spring note to this creamy rice dish, punctuated by shrimp and lemon. If you haven?t made risotto before, not to worry. It?s quite easy if you follow the directions, and it?s not as daunting as it first appears to a newcomer.