Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Sharing Horizons That Are New to Us

Alison Roman, the Home Movies chef loves celery.  Her and a guy that I worked alongside for years are the only two people I've ever known to openly profess their love of this fibrous plant.  I'll never forget my coworker trying to order rice and just celery from our favorite Noodle Shop in Times Square, where it was best to stick to the numbers on the menu.   The waiter did his best to quickly decipher my coworker's desire to omit every other ingredient in the chicken dish but he could not wrap his head around this odd request, nor did they concede to make it.  That place managed a revolving door lunch crowd and served exquisite, inexpensive delights but they did not suffer fools.  The deal was you got in, ate and got out quickly.  Someone was always waiting to take your plate and slap that check on the table.  But it was there that I fell deeply in love with black mushrooms and bok choy in oyster sauce and scallion pancakes.    Needless to say, dealing with finicky friends at restaurants is never pleasant but now that those days are gone, I can remember it fondly.  Good on him for fighting for probably the one vegetable his dumb ass could eat and enjoy.  

Celery is thought of as a soup starter, simply part of a mirepoix, always the bridesmaid, never the main course. But as our taste buds become more and more refined, I have learned to appreciate this lanky veg thoroughly.  Who doesn't love peanut butter and raisins slathered on stumps of crunchy celery?  Sauteed in garlic and red onions, it holds it's own as a side.  Granted, a very delicate one.  Similar to watermelon for dessert.  
I roasted a whole chicken with lemons and herbs, and you guessed it, celery in the cavity.  I skipped the grain for two vegetable sides to keep it extra light.  Spicy Citrus kale with sauteed celery, or try it braised.  

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