Roasted Green Capsicum Pesto Risotto

August 10, 2021

Roasted Green Capsicum Pesto Risotto

This recipe takes advantage of the beautiful smokey flavours you get from char-grilling capsicum together with fragrant basil, the creaminess of walnuts and  nuttiness of pumpkin seeds for a ripper pesto. You can make this recipe vegan by omitting the Parmesan cheese or replacing it with nutritional yeast and some dried herbs. 

For the Pesto you'll need:

  • 4 small green capsicums
  • 50g each of walnut kernels and pumpkin seeds
  • 50ml each of sunflower oil and pumpkin seed oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • Large bunch of basil
  • 50g of Parmesan or pecorino cheese finely grated plus extra for finishing the risotto
  • salt and pepper to taste

This will make more than enough pesto for the risotto so you can reserve some for a dip or use in other cooking 

For the Risotto you'll need:

  • 500g Aborio rice
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1 brown onion finely diced
  • 1 small stick celery finely diced
  • 1.5L good quality vegetable stock
  • 50g butter or vegan alternative
  • 1TBSP sunflower oil


  1. Char grill the capsicums under your oven grill or carefully roast them over the flame of the stovetop until the skin has blackened. set aside to cool then peel off blackened skin and remove seeds.
  2. Add the seeds and nuts to the food processor and blitz for a few seconds until roughly chopped, remove a small handful. Add the chargrilled capsicums, garlic cloves, lemon zest and juice, most of the parmesan, basil and half the oil. blitz to combine
  3. Check the consistency and season with salt and pepper to taste. blitz again slowly adding more oil until you achieve a rich chunky consistency. set aside.
  4. Get your stock ready by bringing to the boil and then simmer over low heat
  5. For the risotto heat the sunflower oil and half the butter in a pan over low-medium heat in a large shallow saucepan or crockpot. Add the onion and sweat for a few minutes. Add the celery and continue to sweat for a few more minutes.
  6. When the onion and celery are soft and translucent add the aborio rice and increase the heat slightly constantly stirring until the outer layer of the rice has become translucent and you smell a nutty aroma
  7. Add the wine to the pan cooking until most of it has been absorbed. Reduce heat to low-medium and add 1-2 ladels of the stock. cook whilst stirring until absorbed (you can tell its fully absorbed when you can cleanly scrape a wooden spoon through the risotto and it takes a few moments to recombine)
  8. Continue this process adding a ladle of stock, stirring and letting it absorb until the rice has the slightest touch of bite in the centre.
  9. Turn the heat off, stir in 1-2 ladle scoops of the pesto to the risotto and add the extra grated parmesan and butter and cover for 3mins.
  10. Stir to combine melted butter and cheese, serve up in large shallow bowls or plates with extra parmesan and some of the reserved chopped nuts and seeds. 

Its also delicious topped with a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil and a few micro herbs. Yum!

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