Celery Risotto with Asian Pear and Shiso

By • September 15, 2011 • 19 Comments

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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

Serves 4

  • 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)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
Jump to Comments (19)

Tags: Easy, savory, seasonal

Comments (19) Questions (0)

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about 1 year ago Midge

Love these flavors and the fresh kick from the shiso. Saving this one..

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about 1 year ago gingerroot

Thanks Midge! Hope you are doing well. Let me know if you give this a try.

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over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

This sounds wonderful! I love the combination of Asian pear and celery, and risotto seems like a grand showcase for it!

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, Em! The celery and Asian pear do go well together, although I'm not sure I would have ever tried the combination in risotto had I not had the apple-sorrel version first.

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

So glad to see this, it's so easy to forget about recipes that you want to make and this is one of them, Copying to my recipes. Love this.

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, sdebrango! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you give it a try.

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about 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh my goodness this sounds like heaven! My shiso is thriving - now I have another use for it!!!!

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, a! I'm glad your shiso is doing well, I've been using mine whenever I would usually grab basil...

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about 3 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

lovely.

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thank you sLCx!

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This sounds fabulous!

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, hardlikearmour! The celery adds a wonderful subtle flavor component along with the pears and cheese.

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about 3 years ago Bevi

Yum!

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, Bevi! Your kale salad with fried pear chips is on my must try list.

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about 3 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

I just got a bunch of shiso for the first time at the farmer's market today, going to try this on the weekend.

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Let me know what you think! I love green shiso and have been putting it in everything lately - it has such fragrant herbal-citrus notes and a lovely flavor. I hope you like it.

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This is amazing gingerroot, I think the romano and pear are a wonderful combination. The sharpness of the cheese and the sweetness of the pear, never thought of adding ricotta to a risotto. Lovely!

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about 3 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

try gingerroot's ricotta risotto with greens and orange, the ricotta makes the risotto light, even my risotto hating daughter likes this version.

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thank you so much, sdebrango. While I don't have much of a sweet tooth, I love the contrast of salty and sweet. Adding ricotta to risotto was a revelation for me and now I always include it.

@luvcookbooks - thanks for recommending my risotto with greens and orange, I love that your daughter likes it.