This fun, fresh take on classic risotto is sure to become a treasured recipe in your repertoire. Nutty and toothsome barley replaces the traditional rice, and the celery stock delivers a surprisingly crisp, clear celery flavour.
12 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 celery roots, peeled and roughly chopped
Olive oil, for tossing
2 tablespoons (30ml) celery seeds, tied in a cheesecloth sachet
Celery Root Risotto
2 tablespoons (30ml) butter
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 small yellow onion, finely minced
2 cups (470ml) celery root, small diced
1 1/2 cups (350ml) pearl barley
1 cup (240ml) beer
6 to 7 cups (1.4 to 1.5L) celery stock, warm
1/4 cup (60ml) butter, cold and cubed
1 cup (240ml) pecorino cheese, grated
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Celery leaves, for garnish
Basil leaves, for garnish
Pecorino cheese, grated, for garnish
Black pepper, to season
Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C).
In a roasting pan, add celery, onions, celery root, and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to combine and roast until browned, around 45 minutes.
Add the roasted vegetables and celery seed sachet to a large pot, cover with water and simmer for one hour. Strain and return the stock to low heat. Keep warm.
Celery Root Risotto
Heat the butter in a wide pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until translucent, three to four minutes.
Add celery root and cook for two minutes, until starting to soften.
Add the barley and allow to toast, stirring, for one to two minutes, until aromatic.
Pour in the beer and cook, stirring often, until almost dry.
Add reserved celery stock one ladle at a time, stirring constantly, and allowing the stock to fully absorb into the barley between each addition.
When enough of the stock has been added that the barley is cooked through but still firm (not soft), add the cold butter and Pecorino, stirring to combine.
Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the risotto to serving dishes.
Garnish with celery leaves, cracked black pepper, chiffonade basil, and grated Pecorino. Enjoy!