Wow, so it's been a while hasn't it? I'm back. Again. :) Strangely enough, I've cooked very little food that y'all haven't seen before. But that's okay. Here's something new for you, and I'll try to do some other stuff soon as well. Oh, and here's a link for the pictures I've put up this far, for those of you who wanted to see wedding photos. I'll be putting up more photos as I get to them, as well.
This recipe came out of my hatred for food waste. When I was putting together all the food for the wedding, I totally forgot to put the celery in with the lamb, which resulted in me having four huge heads of celery to use up. This risotto was one of them (also a potato hash). What I strangely enough did not use any of the celery for was a celery soup. Weird. Not sure why, but there it is. Of all the things that happened with that celery, this was my favourite and I've found that when there's a lot of celery languishing in the fridge, my first thought is now risotto. So I'm calling this recipe a keeper, as I've already made it two or three times in the last month and a half. Initially I was doing this the traditional way, with some wine and parmesan, etc. This has wound up becoming a vegan dish though, as I have been making it during times I didn't have meat broth, wine and/or cheese in the house, but y'all are welcome to put the animal products back in. Generally when I make it, that's the entirety of the meal - I'm not cooking anything else at that point. When I take this recipe camping, I'll end up making scallops to go with it, I'm sure. But it's flexible. As always, if you don't have something on the list, leave it out. If there's something you'd like to see added, add it (then tell me how it went, please!). Otherwise, I hope y'all enjoy, and it's nice to be posting again!
1 small onion, sliced into half moons (you could use a big shallot instead, or two small ones)
1 large head celery, sliced (leave the leaves in)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 pound (roughly) medium grain rice (I'm loving Calrose for this the best these days)
1/2 tablespoon Aleppo pepper (or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
32 ounces vegetable broth
water as needed
1 cup white wine (optional; I only did it with this the first time)
Set the lemon juice, broth and wine if you're using it to simmer in a small saucepan. Heat olive oil in a ten-inch skillet over medium heat, then add the onions, celery, lemon juice, salt and pepper and let them cook for approximately ten minutes, until most of the onion is translucent and there's some browning in some of the tips of the onion slices as well as in the celery leaves. Add the rice (and more oil if needed) and fry for two minutes (you may remove and set aside the veggies if you like, adding them back in later, but I'm a bit lazy on this), then add Aleppo pepper or cayenne. Add the simmering broth mixture, one ladle-full at a time, stirring constantly, until the risotto has some bite to it but is fully cooked. Serve immediately. Serves 2-4.