About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Risotto with Asparagus | Main | Risotto with Zucchini »

Risotto with Celery

We've left pasta behind and are visiting risotto. But before I get into the report on my first risotto dish, I have to take a moment to stand and applaud Marcella.

God bless you, Marcella. You have vindicated me for constantly stirring my risotto! You could not have any idea how much this means to me, unless you had been following a particular thread on SlowTalk in which the very same Milanese know-it-all who demonized me for freezing my olive oil, also berated me for stirring risotto. I do believe that more than one of my Pomodori partners are standing with me for this ovation.

Now back to the dish at hand. I have never considered featuring celery in a risotto dish, any more than I would in a pasta. It has always seemed to be an indispensable member of the chorus, but never the lead tenor. Celery's role is to enhance the flavor of the star ingredient, not be the star. Right?


Yet, here I am making my first dish in the Risotto chapter of Essentials, and I find that it is just celery. Boring, unimaginative celery. Livened up with only a bit of chopped onion and fresh parsley. No spices, no pancetta, not even a little boiled ham to give it some flavor.


And that is the genius of this dish.

It is also why Marcella got paid to write her cookbooks, and I just get paid to sell them.


It appears that when allowed to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight, celery is quite capable of carrying the show. Creamy and full of its own flavor, Celery Risotto is going to be one of my new favorites.

The celery flavor was enhanced by the nice bottle of Muscadet de Sevret-Maine we enjoyed. (Sorry, Victor)


Comments (3)

Marcella Hazan:

Thank you, Deborah, and your fellow Pomodori, not alone for your kind words, which touch me, but for your faith in my directions and your resolve to follow them no matter what contrary influences are tugging you in an opposite direction. This touches me even more deeply.

I hope you haven't taken your laptop with you and that you and your husband are enjoying unmediated distance from what you've left behind. You can catch up with the post when you return.

Victor says, don't feel badly about the Muscadet. You want to get a little more use out of those tumblers before graduating to stemware caliber wines. He has yet to open the Norton. With a beef stew perhaps if I get around to making it.

Deborah, I have never tried this recipe, but after the way you have written about it, it is on my must-try list!

Great job!

lori lomahan:

My Mom has made this recipe for years at Easter. It has become a staple. This year I need this recipe as My mothers cookbook is up north and she has just arrived from Florida. We think we know all of the ingredients but not sure of amounts. So we are winging it.

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