This risotto recipe would work with pretty much any fish or even grilled chicken.  It is a beautiful color and tastes wonderful and fresh.  Look for thin stalks of asparagus and do not over roast them, just enough to tenderize them a bit and bring out their bright color. I use some roasted garlic for the pesto, but if you cannot find prepared roasted garlic in the deli section of your market, you can roast your own, or substitute a lesser quantity of fresh garlic.  I seasoned my tuna with an all purpose seasoning from Trader Joe’s, but a greek seasoning or other all purpose seasoning would also be just fine.

Serves 2


for asparagus pesto and risotto:

  • 1 bunch thin asparagus
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 3 roasted garlic cloves  (I can find this in prepared section of store), substitute 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, plus more julienned basil for garnish
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • diced tomato for garnish
  • 1 cup risotto
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 finely sliced scallions, white and green pats
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • about 3-4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

for tuna:

  • 1 lb tuna steak
  • 1-2 teaspoons Trader Joe’s 21 Season Salute
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • squeezed lemon


for asparagus:

Preheat oven to 400.  Trim asparagus by breaking off rough stems at the end of stalk. Toss with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 5-10 minutes until bright green and tender.  Allow to cool slightly and cut off tips of about 8 of the stalks and set aside for garnish. Transfer remaining asparagus along with cooking oil to food processor along with garlic, toasted pine nuts, parmesan and basil.  Process until smooth and add some additional stock if necessary to thin to desired consistency, not pourable but smooth.  Set aside.

for risotto:

Heat the butter and adding the scallions and garlic to a medium stock pot (I love my le creuset enamel pot for this use).  Sauté on low heat until fragrant (2 minutes).  Add arborio rice to the pot stirring constantly to coat the rice grains.  Add wine to the rice and stir until absorbed.  Continue adding the stock  to the pot about 1/4 of a cup at a time until liquid is absorbed, repeating this process stirring frequently so risotto doesn’t stick to the bottom and continuing to add liquid as needed.  Continue this process for about 15-20  minutes until risotto is al dente.  Add a little extra stock and prepared pesto and cover risotto while you sear tuna keep warm.

for tuna:

Season tuna with salt and pepper and all purpose seasoning on all sides.  Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed skillet to medium high. Sear tuna for 2-3 minutes a side for medium rare.  Squeeze lemon on tuna. Transfer to cutting board and slice.

arrange dish:

Spoon risotto onto center of plate and place sliced tuna on top.  Garnish dish with reserved asparagus tips, basil and diced tomato.  Serve immediately and enjoy!