Risotto with grilled asparagus and crispy bacon

History of the dish:
Asparagus risotto is a typical spring dish, and the combination of the tangy aroma and flavour of the asparagus and the savoury taste of the bacon is incredible. Asparagus is a versatile vegetable that can be grilled over charcoal. This cooking method gives it an intense, slightly bitter grilled aroma that combines well with the sweetness and flavour of the risotto. The most common types of asparagus are dark or light green, or white, pink and purple varieties. It is also useful to distinguish between cultivated asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) and wild asparagus (Asparagus acutifolius), which has a more bitter taste than the cultivated variety.

In this recipe learn how to prepare a risotto directly in the MONOLITH kamado, grilling the asparagus and the bacon, which is then fried until crispy and added to the dish. A dish with a unique blend of flavours and aromas, and healthy to boot.

Preparation of the stock:
Cut the vegetables into chunky coarse pieces. In the case of the asparagus, cut off just the lower, harder part and use it for the broth. Put the vegetables in cold water and bring to the boil gently and simmer for about 1 hour.

Preparing your MONOLITH:
For this recipe, we used our MONOLITH in a dual zone configuration for the Smart Grid System, indirect with the a half deflector stone on one side, and a direct grill rack on the other.

Fill your Monolith with charcoal to the air vents and light (remember you can always close the vents after the cook to not waste any charcoal). Leave the air inlet completely open so that the grill quickly reaches quite a high temperature.

Position the Smart Grid system with half a deflector stone and the stainless steel grates.

Place the stock pot with the broth in the indirect zone, as it is to be poured hot over the rice. On the grate directly above the embers, place a pan with high sides, add a knob of butter and the chopped shallot. Sauté the shallots until translucent and add the rice.

Toast the rice for a minute and then add a couple of ladles of hot stock.

In the meantime, grill the bacon slices until crisp, then set aside. Then grill the asparagus and brush with butter while cooking. Remove the asparagus from the grill when it has nicely coloured, cut the spears into small pieces and leave some tips to garnish the dish.

Add the cut asparagus to the risotto, adding more stock if needed. When the rice is cooked, add a little salt and pepper to your own taste.

Remove the pan from the grill, add 50 g butter and 50 g Parmesan cheese and stir the risotto vigorously.  Arrange the risotto on a plate and garnish with the asparagus tips and crispy bacon.

Enjoy your meal!

A recipe from Sandro Annese

Sandro is a grill expert who has been passionate about the world of barbecue for years. He has a degree in industrial biotechnology and works as a manager in a large multinational company. He is a native of Puglia and has been dedicated to cooking since childhood. He is particularly fond of preparing meat and fish on the grill and baking focaccia, bread, and pizzas in a wood-fired oven.

Sandro is a MONOLITH brand ambassador, the official Italian team of MONOLITH demonstrators and consultants.

Grilled scaloppine with aubergine, tomato & burrata


Cut the aubergines and tomatoes into approx. 8 mm thin slices.

Brush the aubergines and tomatoes lightly with olive oil and set aside.

Cut the saddle of veal into 1 cm thick slices and plate very lightly, salt lightly just before grilling.

Fill your MONOLITH charcoal basket just on one side with charcoal and place a cast iron grate over it. On the other side, without charcoal, place a cast iron plancha or the lid of the MONOLITH fire pot over half a deflector stone.

Now heat the grill to about 240°C.

Put the butter in a small saucepan and melt it with the lid closed. Season with sage, a little lemon juice and lemon zest, crushed garlic clove and salt. Let the butter foam up briefly.

Place the aubergine slices to grill slowly on both sides, brushing with olive oil and the seasoning butter. Place the grilled aubergines on the plancha, season with salt and leave to marinate.

Now grill the scaloppine briefly on the grill, turning three times. Then lightly pepper and place on top of the aubergines, brush with sage butter.

Grill the tomato slices briefly on one side. Drizzle a little white wine over and around the aubergines and scaloppine. Then place the grilled tomatoes on top of the scaloppine. Spread with sage butter again. Finally, place the burrata on top of the tomato, lightly score it and season with salt and seasoning butter. Close the lid and let everything cook for 4 – 6 minutes, the burrata will melt.

If you want a light smoky flavour, you can add a teaspoon of wood pellets or chips with your smoke feeder tube for these last few minutes. This will give a distinctive flavour integrating with the sage, wine, and smoke. We like cherry for this recipe, but use your preferred wood.

To serve, brush again with a little sage butter. A little salt and pepper, olive oil & sage leaves to garnish. As a side dish – like the Italians – simply a piece of white bread.

Enjoy your meal!


The precursor of focaccia was already known to the ancient Romans: They called it “panis focacius”, which means “bread baked in the hearth ash”. Much has changed since then, but this tasty flatbread is still a great accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes. Find out how to make your very own focaccia on your ceramic grill here:

Wash and cook the potatoes, then peel and let them steam. Meanwhile, mix the yeast with a pinch of sugar, 3 tbsp lukewarm water and 2 tbsp flour and leave to rise in a warm place. Press the potatoes through a ricer and mix with the flour, the yeast mixture, 2 tbsp oil, salt and water to make a smooth dough. Cover the dough and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

When the dough has risen by 1/3, knead again briefly, roll out, place on a lightly oiled 40 x 25 cm baking tray and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes. Wash and halve the cherry tomatoes, pluck the rosemary needles and shred the goat’s cheese into small pieces. Mix everything with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture on the pastry.

Bake in the preheated monolith over indirect heat at 240 degrees, then sprinkle with finishing sea salt.