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)