In a wide heavy bottom pot (i use a 3 qt. le cruset) steam asparagus (bottom finery bits snapped off) with 1 cup water for 3-5 minutes until tender. Remove steamed asparagus and put to the side. Don't throw away the water!
Pour asparagus water into large pyrex or shatter-proof measuring cup or bowl. Use the same heavy bottom pot to heat 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil (depending on your taste and vegan tendencies) and sauté shallots (or onions) and mushrooms until onion family items are mostly translucent and mushrooms are a bit crispy. Don't move them too too much.
Toss in arborio rice and add a dash of extra olive oil if things are sticking. Warm the rice through until less opaque and more translucent. 2-3 minutes.
Pour in 1/2 cup of reserved asparagus water. Allow to absorb. Repeat this step until you've used up the full cup (or whatever was left over) of the asparagus water. Stir enough to keep the rice from sticking, but not too much so that you're mushing the grains.
By 1/2 cups (about a ladle full) add in the room temperature veggie stock (or you can go crazy and go for dirtying another implement and heat this on the stove or in the micro. I've found this works just fine on a hot summer evening at room temperature. Like last week. But follow your bliss). Repeat for about 20 minutes, by 1/2 cups, until the rice is al dente...or not so hard but not mushy. Turn off heat.
Stir in asparagus (cut into thirds or quarters depending on the length) and halved cherry tomatoes.
Gently stir in 1/2 cup of cheese (reserving remaining 1/4 or a bit extra if you like, to garnish)
Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon into 4 bowls and garnish with remaining cheese and another pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper for each serve.