— Jenny Neill

Tag "recipe"

I was a teetotaler for all of my 20s, typically a formative period for those who like to imbibe a little alcohol now and then. That didn’t stop me from learning the tradition of drinking an aperitivo during a series of trips I took to Italy. An Italian friend introduced me to Sanbittér so I could participate in the tradition of “opening” one’s appetite before dinner. (Aperitivo is derived from the Latin form of “to open,” aperire.)

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After surprising me by surviving the winter, my celery seedlings turned into a prolific miniature stand of stocky plants. Each stem sprouted plentiful fans of leaves, all a deeper green than their grocery store counterparts.

When the temperatures dipped to an unseasonably low point for a few nights, I noticed a few were bolting. Tasting a sample of a few plants confirmed it—the stalks were too astringent. But the leaves still had enough freshness to try using them in a salad. That fine line between clean, watery “green” and “spicy with a bitter tone” proved to be a challenge in creating an appetizing dish.

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