One-Pot Wonders

Celery Risotto with Asian Pear and Shiso

September 15, 2011
1 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 4
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

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup peeled, cored and chopped (1/4-inch pieces) Asian pear
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped tender inner stalks celery
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 ounces vermouth
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery leaves
  • 3 tablespoons ricotta
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino 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 large 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 3/4 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 mesh 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 chopped pears. Gently stir to combine. Serve immediately, with additional Romano, if desired. Enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Midge
  • fiveandspice
  • aargersi
  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
  • hardlikearmour

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.

14 Reviews

Midge October 2, 2013
Love these flavors and the fresh kick from the shiso. Saving this one..
gingerroot October 5, 2013
Thanks Midge! Hope you are doing well. Let me know if you give this a try.
fiveandspice March 12, 2012
This sounds wonderful! I love the combination of Asian pear and celery, and risotto seems like a grand showcase for it!
gingerroot March 13, 2012
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.
aargersi September 16, 2011
Oh my goodness this sounds like heaven! My shiso is thriving - now I have another use for it!!!!
gingerroot September 16, 2011
Thanks, a! I'm glad your shiso is doing well, I've been using mine whenever I would usually grab basil...
sexyLAMBCHOPx September 16, 2011
gingerroot September 16, 2011
Thank you sLCx!
hardlikearmour September 15, 2011
This sounds fabulous!
gingerroot September 16, 2011
Thanks, hardlikearmour! The celery adds a wonderful subtle flavor component along with the pears and cheese.
Bevi September 15, 2011
gingerroot September 16, 2011
Thank you, Bevi! Your kale salad with fried pear chips is on my must try list.
luvcookbooks September 15, 2011
I just got a bunch of shiso for the first time at the farmer's market today, going to try this on the weekend.
gingerroot September 16, 2011
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.