Monday, January 26, 2015

Latest Culinary Conquest: Healthy Oven Risotto with Kale-Walnut Pesto

After a long weekend of playing, eating (& drinking!), and lots of entertaining, John and I were eager for a hearty but healthy low-fuss dinner upstate, and I knew just what I wanted to try. My friend had pointed out this recipe for Oven Risotto with Kale Pesto while we were in the grocery on Saturday afternoon, so I enthusiastically looked it up on the Bon Appetit website, and then, because I'm me, changed half of the ingredients to work with what I had in the fridge. I know, I'm hopeless, but evidently I have fairly good instincts because it still emerged delicious. 

And then, we put an egg on it. Because why would you not put an egg on it?!? 

Oven Risotto with Kale Pesto


  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped  *I used 1-shallot and the whites of three leeks, all thinnly sliced rather than chopped...)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 small garlic clove *I pretty much don't believe that 1-clove of garlic is ever enough. I used 3. : ) 
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives *I know. It's barely the same recipe at this point. I used basil instead of chives. Totally different. What can I say? It's what I had. 
  • 2 cups torn Tuscan kale leaves, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter *Oh my god. I skipped the butter entirely. But everywhere they said "Add water" I added chicken stock, so I think I compensated flavor-wise there... 
  • 3 ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about 2 cups)


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. Add onion shallot and leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened and translucent, 5–8 minutes. Stir in rice; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until some grains are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups very hot water chicken stock; season with salt (skip this until the end, as stock has a lot more sodium than straight up water...) and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and bake in oven until liquid is mostly absorbed but rice is still starchy in the center, 15–18 minutes (it should be undercooked).
  • Meanwhile, pulse garlic and half of toasted walnuts in a food processor until very finely ground. Add parsley, chives basil, half of kale, remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, and ¼ cup cold water chicken stock; process until smooth; season pesto with salt and pepper.
  • Set saucepan over medium heat. Add ¾ cup very hot water chicken stock and cook rice, stirring constantly, until it is tender but still has some bite and sauce is creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in pesto, butter, three-quarters of Parmesan, and remaining kale. Adjust consistency with water stock, if needed; season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with remaining walnuts and cheese. 
  • We served ours with a six-and-a-half minute steamed egg over the top, but a poached egg or a fried egg would probably do the trick too. 

  • And if you wanted to throw healthy out the window, you could probably lay a few pieces of prosciutto over the top and you wouldn't be making any enemies. Just sayin'... 

No comments:

Post a Comment