Celery Risotto with Asian Pear and Shiso

By gingerroot
September 15, 2011
14 Comments


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

Ingredients

  • 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 fienly 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)

Directions

  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!

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Reviews (14) Questions (0)

14 Comments

Midge October 2, 2013
Love these flavors and the fresh kick from the shiso. Saving this one..
 
Author Comment
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!
 
Author Comment
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!!!!
 
Author Comment
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
lovely.
 
Author Comment
gingerroot September 16, 2011
Thank you sLCx!
 
hardlikearmour September 15, 2011
This sounds fabulous!
 
Author Comment
gingerroot September 16, 2011
Thanks, hardlikearmour! The celery adds a wonderful subtle flavor component along with the pears and cheese.
 
Bevi September 15, 2011
Yum!
 
Author Comment
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.
 
Author Comment
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.