This risotto highlights the flexibility of underrated celery. Both a vegetable and an aromatic, celery maintains its texture while cooking and shines bright in this recipe! Bittersweet, licorice-like tarragon adds elegance to this simple dish! Serve as a side or as a main. Amen for flexibility!
Celery and Tarragon Risotto
- 1 medium saucepan
- 1 large and deep skillet or Dutch oven
- 1 grater
- 1 wooden spoon
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ cups celery diced; if your celery ribs are extra-wide, you may have to slice them into 4 strips lengthwise.
- 1 ½ cups white onion diced the same size as the celery
- kosher salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 garlic cloves
- 7 cups vegetable or chicken stock the richer the better; I prefer chicken stock in this one
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup dry white wine like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio
- 1 ½ cups uncooked arborio rice
- 1 tbsp fresh tarragon finely chopped and packed
- ¾ cup Pecorino Romano finely grated
- In a medium saucepan, bring chicken stock and bay leaf to a simmer. You never want to add cold stock to a risotto!
- In a large-deep skillet, heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion; sauté, while stirring, for 3 minutes.
- Add garlic and sprinkle lightly with salt; cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the arborio rice and stir, ensuring each grain is coated in butter & olive oil. Cook until the rice is translucent, about 1 minute.
- Add the white wine and cook until most of it has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
- Add fresh tarragon and hot stock, 1 ladle at a time. Cook while stirring, until the liquid has been almost absorbed by the rice before adding more stock. Continue adding stock 1 ladle at a time, until the rice is slightly al dente. You still want the rice to have a slight bite to it. Do not overcook risotto! I beg you!
- Add salt and pepper, to taste. When rice is al dente (cooked but still firm when bitten), remove from heat. Stir in the remaining butter, celery leaves, and Pecorino Romano.
- Serve immediately! Garnish with celery leaves, black pepper, and Pecorino (optional). Don't let the risotto sit out or it will develop on unpleasant film/texture.