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Author Notes: Inspired by a delicious Apple-Sorrel Risotto from one of my favorite restaurants, I had to try a version using celery and pears. I like using Romano since it is a bit saltier and sharper than Parmesan, making additional salt unnecessary. Ricotta provides a lovely creaminess, while green shiso adds a citrus note. If you cannot find green shiso, you can substitute sweet basil. —gingerroot
- 3/4 cup Asian pear, peeled, cored and chopped (1/4 inch pieces)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- 3 ½ cup(s) chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup celery, finely chopped (tender inner stalks)
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 3 ounces vermouth
- 1/4 cup celery leaves, chopped
- 3 tablespoons ricotta
- 1/4 cup grated Romano, plus more to taste
- 4 large green shiso leaves, cut into chiffonade and then in half crosswise (if using basil, increase amount to 5 lg leaves)
- For pear: Combine lemon juice and water in a bowl large enough to hold the chopped pear. Add chopped pear to lemon-water. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, start to heat up chicken stock over medium heat. Once stock begins to steam, cover pan and lower heat to keep stock warm.
- Heat butter in a Dutch oven; wait for it to brown (but not burn), you will be able to smell it. Add onions and stir to coat. Add chopped celery and cook mixture until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat, about a minute, until opaque. Add vermouth and cook, stirring until most of liquid has evaporated.
- Ladle about ¾ cup of the warmed stock into rice mixture, constantly stirring, until almost all the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Continue adding remaining broth, one ladleful at a time, allowing rice to absorb liquid each time before adding more. Rice mixture should be barely simmering throughout additions, so you may need to adjust the heat (usually I have to lower it a bit). After 18 minutes, taste the rice. You want the finished rice to be slightly firm and creamy, with a bit of liquid remaining, but not mushy. If the rice is tender, remove from heat. If rice needs a minute more, by all means, cook it a minute more, adding a bit more stock if necessary.
- Drain pears through a fine meshed sieve and set over a bowl near stove. Off heat, stir in ricotta and Romano. Risotto should come together and be very creamy. Add celery leaves, shiso and finally chopped pears. Gently stir to combine. Serve immediately, with additional Romano, if desired. Enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Most Impressive Dinner Party Side
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Celery Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Pears
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