Recipe For Celery Risotto with Pistachio Pesto


Daddy’s been dieting diligently lately, and he told me yesterday that he had a craving for celery risotto. Of course, I was happy to oblige. Unlike many of my other risotto recipes, which will probably never be considered healthy, I decided to make this risotto (almost) as good for you as it is good to eat.

To complement the very distinct flavor of celery, I added lemon juice and a pistachio pesto. I also threw in a little parmesan cheese for a nutty aroma and flavor. Daddy enjoyed it so much that I froze several portions of the risotto so that he can get his “fix” whenever he wants, whether he’s on a diet or not.

1. Info for Celery Risotto with Pistachio Pesto

  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Servings: 10
  • Calories: 567kcal

2. Ingredients for Celery Risotto with Pistachio Pesto

  • 2 cups celery stalks, chopped, + celery leaves for garnish
  • 12-1/2 cups celery stock (see tips)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 sprig lemon thyme
  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • 2 cups melon-seed shaped pasta
  • 4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoons pistachio pesto (see tips)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or more olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/3 bunch flat-leaf parsley

3. Directions:

  1. Zest the lemon and gather about 1 teaspoon. Set aside.
  2. In a deep saucepan, heat some olive oil and sauté the minced garlic cloves until golden. Add the sprig of lemon thyme, lemon zest, shallots and 1-1/2s cup of diced celery. Stir until light translucent. Transfer the celery mixture to a plate. Set aside. Add a little more olive oil to the saucepan and add the pasta and rice. The oil should coat all the grains. Add 1-1/2 cups of warm broth. Stir constantly.
  3. After bringing the liquid to a boil, add 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese and lower the heat to medium-low for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the pistachio pesto and 2 tablespoons of flat-leaf parsley.  (I also use the stems, because that’s where the flavor is most potent.) Check the liquid and periodically add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of stock when all the liquid is absorbed. Let simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  4. When the rice is almost cooked, add the shallot and celery mixture; add avocado oil. Check the seasoning and add salt (if necessary) and pepper. Stir well. Drizzle with lemon juice. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Remove and discard the sprig of lemon thyme.
  5. Sprinkle flat-leaf parsley leaves, grated parmesan, celery leaves and fresh chopped celery. You can also add slightly toasted nuts if you like but I think the crunch from the fresh celery already gives a nice balance in texture.
  6. Bon appétit!

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