Preheat the grill to the highest setting for the asparagus. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet. Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and minced garlic for the asparagus in a saucepan over low heat until warm. Remove from the heat and let sit until the dish is finished. I like to grill the asparagus while the risotto is cooking.
Heat the stock in a saucepan until hot.
In another large saucepan or pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Stir in the garlic with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the rice. Cook, stirring often, to toast the rice for 3 to 5 minutes. The rice should be translucent.
Once the rice is translucent, stir in the white wine (or you can just use extra stock). Cook until the wine has been absorbed. Add 1 cup of the warm stock, stirring continuously, until the stock is absorbed. Repeat again with 1 cup of stock, stirring until absorbed. Repeat this process with another 2 to 3 cups of the stock, until the rice is creamy and al dente. You want it to appear “hydrated” – and want there to be some liquid left when serving. This process should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in the butter until melted. Stir in the asiago and parmesan cheese until melted. Stir in the lemon zest and herbs. Taste the rice and season it with salt and pepper as needed. This will depend on how salty your cheese is, so I suggest adding as much as you need.
While the risotto is cooking or still warm, grill the asparagus. I like to spray mine with a quick olive oil spray all over, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the asparagus spears directly on the grill (in the opposite direction of how the grates run, so they don’t fall through the cracks!). Grill for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the spears are slightly charred. Remove the asparagus and drizzle with the garlic olive oil. Sprinkle on parmesan.
Serve the risotto with the asparagus spears on top. You can drizzle the entire thing with extra garlic olive oil if you wish! Fresh herbs make a nice garnish too.