I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit. I used pecans instead of walnuts and 1/2 of an onion, which I think is plenty for a cup of rice. This recipe is wonderful! You do not have to stand and stir and baby the rice into a creamy mixture, the oven does that. There are a few steps but this comes together quickly and easily. You could make the pesto way ahead and then put the rice together later. Dashiell’s friend Everett, (a great cook) and I were discussing this recipe and we both were quite skeptical about an oven risotto. Well, it fooled me. This is the perfect make ahead for your next dinner party!
- ½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped, divided
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup arborio rice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves
- 2 cups torn Tuscan kale leaves, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about 2 cups)
Preheat oven to 350°. Toast pecans in a saucepan, 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 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; season with salt 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 pecans in a food processor until very finely ground. Add parsley, half of kale, remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, and ¼ cup cold water; process until smooth; season pesto with salt and pepper.
Set saucepan over medium heat. Add ¾ cup very hot water 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, if needed; season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with remaining pecans and cheese.