Celeriac Risotto with Basil Pesto

Tomorrow morning I drop off my girls with my father-in-law, so I can head back up to Bellingham to bake many, many cupcakes for my sister-in-law's wedding reception.  Ben is at a conference down in Seattle until tomorrow, which makes for baking those many, many cupcakes a bit stressful with two little monkeys running around.  Before I head off into butter, sugar, eggs & flour land; I find it my duty to introduce you to celeriac--that is if you've never met.

Celeriac has a bit of celery coming out, but that part you want to save for making stock.  However, it's the bulbous, root, where the inner beauty lies.  You would be fooled by passing it by at the farm stand, market or grocery store.  It's just like it's name implies, the taste of celery, but a bit more subtle.  You can turn it into a puree, roast it or puree to make a soup.  Here is a wonderful recipe to make use of it's subtlety in a semi-elegant way, while really not trying as hard as people think you actually did.

A Year Ago:  It's Called Comfort


Celeriac Risotto with Basil Pesto (printable recipe)


3-4 Tb olive oil
1 celeriac, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 tsp kosher salt
1 leek, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth, keep warm in a small pot on simmer
3/4-1 cup grated parmesan

Basil Pesto (hopefully you have some on hand that you made from summer's bounty)


In a heavy-duty bottom pot or large saucepan, put oil in pan and turn to medium heat.  Add celeriac & leeks, stirring often, until celeriac is tender but not browned.  Add rice to pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Add the wine and mix, allowing the alcohol to burn off a bit and soak into the rice (about 30 seconds).

Add 1 cup of chicken broth to the rice & mix well.  Allow the liquid to bubble, turn heat to a simmer and continue adding warm broth in 1/2 cup increments, while stirring often to ensure your rice isn't dry at the bottom of the pot and getting burnt.  It should take about 20-25 minutes, or till the rice is creamy, but a little al dente is good.  Add the grated parmesan and mix it in.  Serve immediately and put a teaspoon of basil pesto on top.