For 4 to 6 servings
- 5 medium potatoes
- 1 large bunch celery
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Peel the potatoes, wash them in cold water, and cut them in half or, if large, in quarters.
Trim the celery stalks.
Choose a heavy-bottomed or enameled cast-iron pot that can subsequently contain all the ingredients, put in the celery, olive oil, salt, and enough water to cover, turn the heat on to medium, and put a lid on the pot.
Simmer the celery for 10 minutes, then add the potatoes, a pinch of salt, and the lemon juice, and cover the pot again. Cook until both the celery and potatoes are tender, testing them with a fork from time to time. It may take about 25 minutes. (Sometimes the celery lags behind while the potatoes are already done. Should this happen, transfer the potatoes with a slotted spoon to a warm covered dish, and continue cooking the celery until it is tender.)
When the celery and potatoes are both cooked, the only liquid in the pot should be oil. If there is water, uncover the pot, raise the heat, and boil it away. (If the potatoes have been taken out of the pot earlier, put them back in after the water—if there was any—has been boiled away. Cover the pot again, turn the heat down to medium, and warm up the potatoes for about 2 minutes.) Taste and correct for salt, and serve promptly.
Simple and unusually good considering the basic ingredients. Healthy and an useful variation on the normal sides.