Ah celery… I’m still getting used to the idea that it’s not just a seasoning. I found this recipe for Celery Risotto from the New York Times and decided to make it vegan since my friend, Jonathan, who is a vegan, was coming over for lunch and to show me how to be less wasteful at home. For those of you that don’t know, you absolutely do not need to add dairy to risotto to make it creamy. There’s plenty of starch in the arborio rice to give it that creamy feeling. I also added some nutritional yeast to give it a sort of “cheesy” flavor. It’s also not hard to make. It is, however, time consuming and you can’t just set it and forget it. It does require vigilance and stirring so it’s not hard but it’s not the easiest either.
Risotto always tastes decadent to me and I was a little worried that without the addition of butter and cheese it would be kind of weak but it wasn’t. It was still the amazingly satisfying dish that I love. The celery added a bit of crunch and flavor but wasn’t overpowering, the kale imparted an earthiness to it and the lemon zest gave it just enough brightness to make me go back for seconds. And thirds. And think about how I’m going to put an egg on it in the AM and have it for breakfast…
Adapted from New York Times
- 7 cups of water
- 1/3 cup of white miso paste
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup minced onion
- 6 celery branches, diced (2 cups diced celery)
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- ½ cup dry white wine (I used what was left of an open bottle of Albariño in the fridge)
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 2 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
- Put water and miso paste in a pot and bring it to a simmer over low heat, with a ladle nearby. Make sure that it is well seasoned which means make sure that it has enough salt.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven or a very large saucepan. Add the onion, celery and a pinch of salt, and cook gently until just about tender, 3 to 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and soft. Do not let the veggies brown!
- Stir in the rice and the garlic and stir for a few minutes, just until the grains get a little translucent around the edges and you can see the white kernel in the middle of the grains.
- Add the wine and stir until it has been absorbed then begin adding the simmering miso broth, a couple of ladlefuls at a time. With each addition the stock should just cover the rice and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly.
- After each addition of broth, cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the broth and continue to cook in this fashion, adding more broth and stirring when the rice is almost dry. You do not have to stir constantly, but stir often.
- After 10 to 15 minutes stir in the kale with the next addition of stock. When the rice is just tender all the way through but still chewy, usually about 25 minutes after you begin cooking, it is done. Taste now and adjust seasoning.
- Add the lemon zest and nutritional yeast and another ladleful of broth to the rice.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!