Cardoon Risotto


  • 2 tablespoons of Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil (First Cold Pressed)
  • 2 Small Onions (Sliced Finely into Half Moons)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic (Crushed)
  • 200g Organic Pearl Barley
  • 150ml Dry White Wine
  • 750ml of Chicken Stock (Homemade if possible)
  • Small Handful of Dried Porcini (Or large handful of Fresh Wild Mushrooms)
  • Fresh Thyme (Finely Chopped)
  • Fresh Parsley (Finely Chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 450g Total Weight Trimmed, Cardoon Stalks & Hearts (Celery is a good alternative)

For the Pesto:

  • 50g Walnuts (Chopped
  • 50g Parsley Leaves (Washed)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend
  • Sea-Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper

Serves 8


Separate the stalk and heart of the cardoons and chop into 1 inch pieces. Simmer the cardoon pieces in acidulated and salted water for 15 minutes. Drain and refresh under a cold tap. Peel away and discard the strings and stalks. Set aside the cardoon pieces.

Simmer the chicken stock in a saucepan.

Soak the dried porcini in some hot water for 10 minutes. Snip into small pieces and reserve aside. Add the porcini soaking water to the simmering stock.

In another saucepan gently heat the olive oil and then add the onion. Cook slowly without colouring until very soft, stirring occasionally for approx 15 minutes. About 5 minutes before the end add the crushed garlic, followed by the barley and turn up the heat. Stir continuously for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine.

Once the wine has been absorbed, add a ladle of the hot stock and the chopped thyme. Turn down the heat so that the barley simmers. As the stock is absorbed continue adding more ladlefuls of it, making sure each is absorbed before adding the next. Stir continuously to prevent burning. Cooking the barley takes about 40-45 minutes. Add some plain boiling water if you run out of stock.

About half way through cooking add the cardoons and porcini. When the barley is al dente, cover and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Now fold in the finely chopped parsley, grated parmesan, Udo’s Oil, sea salt and pepper to taste.

To make the Pesto: Heat the olive oil gently and sauté the walnuts until toasted - approx 1-2 minutes. Put the walnuts (with all the olive oil), parsley and garlic in a blender and puree. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Fold in the Udo’s Oil and serve.

To serve: Add a small dollop of the parsley and walnut pesto on top and with a sprig of thyme to garnish. Delicious!


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