Introduction: Homegrown Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

About: Synth chick for electro-rock band, Former Human Beings

There is something about growing your own mushrooms at home that makes them taste just - WOW! Maybe it's that you are caring for them from "birth", or maybe that they're not covered in unknown dirt. I have no idea, but I am addicted to growing my own... and then chopping them into bits to eat!

Here, I've grown some oyster mushrooms to add to a luscious risotto. The wonderful texture of the oyster mushroom mimics a tender chicken, and tastes absolutely fabulous. The asparagus gives it a nice non-overpowering crunch, and the lemon zest gives it zing. Risotto dishes may seem daunting, but I find they are easier to perfect than a pot of rice. They key is to keep an eye on it, stir often, and taste taste taste! I hope you try out this dish (and use your own mushrooms)!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials


  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups asparagus, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon zest


  1. When we add the veggie broth and wine together to make 7 cups, you might not use it all. You will be eyeballing and testing the rice as it cooks.
  2. Not all Parmesan cheeses are the same. Some are super salty! Don't go adding salt like a maniac until you taste taste taste! :)

Step 2: Homegrown Mushroom Info

Here is a grow-at-home mushroom kit that I have used several times as a mushroom farming beginner and LOVED:

Mushroom Mini Farm Grow Kit

Basically, you rip it open and spritz water on this block of spores. They start appearing in mushroom form in a few days, and full grown in under 2 weeks.

50°F to 75°F is a good temperature range for the mushrooms to live in. I have grown mine year-round in Los Angeles with no issues.

PRO SHOPPERS TIP: You can get these at-home grow kits at discounter stores like TJ Maxx, Marshall's or Ross for a fraction of the price :o

Step 3: Onions + Garlic

Add the butter to a large pan over medium heat. Cook the onions and garlic, stirring often, until translucent. This will take about 5 minutes.

Step 4: Hello, Rice

Add the rice to the onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the grains are a bit toasty. This gives it a lovely nutty flavour.

Step 5: Hello, Liquids!

Mix together the veggie broth and wine. Pour about 1/3 of the mixture into the rice, but just enough that it covers the rice. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. You will stir this frequently while you start the cook-down of the mushrooms and asparagus.

Step 6: It's Mushroom Asparagus Time!

Now, in a separate pan right next door, add a smidge of butter or oil and place over medium-low heat. Cook mushrooms and asparagus, stirring often.

Step 7: 2 Pans, 1 (wo)man

This is where you really must be very attentive to both pans. Add liquid portion 2 of 3 to the rice. Again, just enough that it covers the rice. Keep stirring. At this point, if you take a bite, it will be half-cooked

Continue stirring the mushrooms and asparagus, too. When browned on the edges, shut off the heat.

Add liquid portion 3 of 3 to the rice (yeah, just until covered, you got it!) and stir. It should take about 35-ish minutes for all of the liquid to be absorbed, start to finish.

Step 8: Say Cheese!

Dump the mushrooms and asparagus into the rice and stir. Add the cheese and stir. It's starting to look and smell like nom-nom heaven!

Step 9: Zestyyy!

Add the lemon zest. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to your taste. Serve immediately. Sign some autographs. Believe me, people will LOVE this dish :D

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