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
- Zest the lemon and gather about 1 teaspoon. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bon appétit!