Le Comptoir in Paris has an intimate vibe and wonderfully tasty food on its set menu. The cheese tray alone is worth the visit. Chef Yves Camdeborde, a leader in the new bistro movement, served this as a luscious first course but it could also accompany a main. Pulse the celeriac in the food processor because you want it chopped like grains of rice.
3 cups diced celeriac
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup mascarpone
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon grated horseradish
1/4 cup milk, warmed
Pulse celeriac in a food processor until morsels are slightly larger than a piece of rice. Set aside.
Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add celeriac and cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add stock and let simmer until liquid has been absorbed and celeriac is tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Add additional spoonfuls of stock if needed. Stir in mascarpone, parsley and Parmesan – the risotto will be saucy.
Beat together horseradish and milk with a hand blender until foamy. Serve risotto in soup plates and garnish with foam.
Suggested Wine Pairings
A white Burgundy would make a fine Paris match. Slightly creamy and often with an earthy mineral tang, France’s finest chardonnays possess the texture and flavours to dance a pas de deux here. A simple and affordable Macon would be nice, though a higher-end Puligny-Montrachet or Meursault would give these dishes the regal touch. Non-French alternatives: Oregon or British Columbia pinot gris. If you prefer red, try an earthy red Burgundy (a.k.a. pinot noir), with its resonant root-vegetable beet note. - Beppi Crosariol