• Broccoli stems in this stem leaf risotto provides a trifecta of flavour, crunch and nutrition. (Damon Gameau)Source: Damon Gameau

A simple, nutritious meal that also helps to reduce your food waste. Celery heart is the tender inner section of a bunch of celery and has a sweeter, more delicate flavour. The pale inner leaves of the cauliflower and broccoli are those that you find still snuggly attached after you have removed the larger outer leaves.






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  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 leek, white part sliced
  • 1 celery heart, stalks sliced, inner leaves separated
  • 1¼ cups arborio rice
  • 1.5 litres stock of your choice, heated
  • 150 g cauliflower stems, finely chopped
  • 150 g broccoli stems, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig basil, leaves picked, stems chopped
  • 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, stems chopped
  • 1 sprig dill, leaves picked, stems chopped
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cauliflower leaves
  • 8 inner broccoli leaves
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, leek and celery stalks and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until almost softened.

2. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the grains are well coated in the oil mixture.

3. Reduce the heat to low, stir in one ladleful of the heated stock and cook, stirring slowly, for 2–3 minutes or until the stock is completely absorbed before adding the next ladleful. Continue cooking while adding ladles of stock. When you have used half the stock, stir in the cauliflower stem, broccoli stem, basil stem, parsley stem and dill stem.

4. Continue to cook, adding the stock and stirring slowly between each addition, until the rice is just tender.

5. This will take about 18–25 minutes, depending on your rice, and you may find that you don’t need to use all the stock. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, place the lemon zest, cauliflower leaves, broccoli leaves, hazelnuts, basil leaves, parsley leaves, dill leaves, celery heart leaves and the remaining oil together in a bowl and toss well to combine. Season well.

7. Stir the lemon juice through the risotto mixture and season well. Divide evenly among bowls or plates and top with the leaves mixture. Serve immediately.


Recipe from 2040: Handbook for Regeneration by Damon Gameau. (Pan Macmillan, pb, $34.99).