Recipe Celeriac & Saffron Risotto with Sage, Caper and Lemon Oil


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Staff member
11 Oct 2012
Local time
8:48 AM
SE Australia
I came across the recipe on The Guardian food website without saffron. Looking at the recipe whilst it was cooking, I felt the dish would benefit from the warming colour and fragrance of saffron and added it. I was correct.

Don't be tempted not to make the hot vinaigrette dressing. It adds a lot of flavour to the risotto and makes a huge difference.

Servings: 4-6

3 tbsp olive oil
1 big onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
600g celeriac, peeled and chopped into 1-1¼cm dice
A good pinch of (⅛ tsp or 20 threads) saffron, ground and bloomed in 250ml hot water
350g risotto rice (arborio)
200ml dry white wine (suitable for vegans)
1 litres vegetable stock (suitable for vegans)
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

For the oil:
3-5 tbsp Olive oil
12-24 sage leaves
2 tbsp capers, well drained & dried
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp sea salt

  1. Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes, until soft and turning golden.
  2. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for two minutes, then add the celeriac and saute for 15 minutes, until it starts to soften.
  3. If you haven't already set the saffron blooming do so now.
  4. Add the rice and then the wine, and stir until the liquid has reduced. When the rice starts to stick, a few ladles of stock and stir well. Simmer until the rice starts to stick again, then add a couple more ladles and cook gently, stirring every now and then, until it’s absorbed by the rice. I usually add enough stock each time to only add the stock 3 times before all the stock is in. After 15-20 minutes, the rice should start to turn creamy. Now add the saffron water and stir well, and simmer until absorbed.
  5. Test that the rice is cooked, season and add the nutritional yeast is using.
  6. For the sage, caper and lemon oil, heat 3 to 5 tbsp of oil in a separate small pan over a medium heat until it’s hot, then add the sage leaves and capers – stand back, because they may spit. Take off the heat, allow to cool slightly, then stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice and a ¼ tsp of sea salt.
  7. Serve in bowls with drizzle a little of the sage, caper and lemon oil over each one.

Last edited by a moderator:
Good call with the saffron. It seems that the earthiness grounds the rest of the ingredients.

Don't be tempted not to make the hot vinaigrette dressing. It adds a lot of flavour to the risotto and makes a huge difference.

Do you mean the oil part of the recipe? I didn't realize that a vinaigrette can be without vinegar if there's another acidic ingredient (which in this case is the lemon juice).
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