Warm up the veggie broth in a medium pot until it gently simmers then turn off the heat. Chop up the shallots, garlic, and asparagus. You’ll want the asparagus in pieces about an inch long, like bite-sized. Cut off the tough ends.
In a large skillet or pot with a wide bottom, heat up the 2 tablespoons of oil over a medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté them around until they start to look kinda golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and rice and sauté until the rice smells toasted and starts looking like it absorbed some of the oil, about 2 more minutes. This helps make your risotto creamy. Add the white wine and salt to the pot and cook until most of the wine has evaporated and you scraped whatever bits of shallot got stuck to the bottom of the pot, like a minute or 2.
Now add 2 cups of the warm broth, stir, and lower the heat so that the pot is at a simmer, uncovered. Stir every couple of minutes until most of the broth has absorbed into the rice, about 7-10 minutes. You don’t need to stand there and stir it the whole time. Just stir it every minute or two while you clean up or troll the internet. Add another 2 cups of warm broth at this point, and do that whole stir and simmer thing again for another 7 minutes or until the rice tastes slightly undercooked and there’s still broth in the pot. Now dump in the asparagus and cook until it’s tender and the rice looks like its sitting in a creamy gravy, about 5 more minutes. If it starts looking a little dry before everything is tender, just add some more of the broth a tablespoon at a time.
When the rice and asparagus taste on point, turn off the heat; add the lemon zest, remaining oil, half the chives, and a little pepper. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or whatever you want. Serve right away and top with the remaining chives.
* This kind of rice is starchy, so it will make your risotto extra creamy and delicious. If you can’t find it don’t worry about it, just grab a short grain rice.