Cook the asparagus following our Perfect Asparagus recipe. Once the asparagus is cooled and drained, cut into two-inch pieces. Set aside.
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and olive oil together over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Add the Arborio rice, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes until the rice is just starting to turn lightly golden.
Quickly pour in the white wine and allow the liquid to boil and be absorbed into the rice. Then pour in ¼ cup of vegetable stock to the rice, stirring constantly. (If necessary, adjust the heat under the pot – you want a medium simmer so the rice and stock cook together.) Add more stock ¼ cup at a time – adding more just as most but not all of the liquid is absorbed before adding in more stock.)
Cook the rice and stock together in this manner for approximately 25 minutes or so – until the rice is tender but not mushy. Turn the heat off when the liquid is mostly absorbed, but not completely and stir in the Parmesan cheese, asparagus and lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the heat and cover – let sit for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Serve with additional lemon zest on the top if desired.
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