In the meantime, heat a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add half of the water (or oil) and the asparagus (and/or broccolini) and the red bell pepper. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper and sauté until just tender and slightly browned - 3-4 minutes - stirring frequently. Cover to steam and speed cooking time. Remove from pan, uncover, and set aside.
Heat another large rimmed pan over medium heat. Once hot, add remaining water (or oil) and shallot. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until softened and very slightly browned.
Continue to add vegetable broth 1 ladle at a time, stirring to incorporate, until the rice is "al dente" - cooked through but not mushy. This whole process should only take 15-20 minutes (may take longer if making a larger batch).
Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. We haven't tried freezing this recipe.
*Recipe adapted from Food Network.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with water (not oil).