I’d like to think that throughout the year, we eat a little bit of everything in our house; you may have noted, vegetables are up there with my favourite things in life. I pride myself with having a broad appreciation for all. However, there’s always the odd one that slips under my radar. I truly am thankful for my Petite Produce Box for reminding me of the unsung heroes. It’s all too easy for me to cruise by certain veggies if they haven’t already been designated a purpose. Celery is a classic example. Used all too frequently for stocks and sauces, celery rarely gets the rock star treatment it deserves.
It has a distinctive yet delicate flavour that is mildly salty and a wonderful crunchy texture. As I’m writing this I’m wondering why I don’t eat more celery?! Maybe you are too? Here's my favourite warm celery recipe.
Celery with tomato, chilli and Italian parsley
- 1 bunch of Te Manaia organic celery, trimmed and cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1 anchovy, rinsed and chopped (optional)
- 1 can of organic chopped tomatoes
- 1 handful of roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- A pinch of sugar
- A pinch of chilli flakes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cover and steam the celery for 5 minutes, until just tender. Remove from the heat and drain.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pan and add the garlic. After about 30 seconds, add the anchovy if using,then the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the sugar, chilli flakes and salt and pepper. Stir together, then stir in the celery. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the mixture smells so good, you can’t wait any more.. About 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining parsley just before serving.
This is yummy all on its own, with a good hunk of Leeds Street Polenta and Rosemary bread to mop up the juice or as a veggie dish to go alongside some lamb. The anchovies and chilli work really well with other robust flavours. If you wanted to make more of a veggie feast out of it, stir it through some Bongusto fresh pasta and add a few kalamata olives.
A few other suggestions that deserve a mention..
- Smashed avocado with feta and celery on toast or stuffed inside a fluffy baked potato
- Celery, blue cheese and hazlenut. A winning combo; add some chickpeas, farro and rocket for a wholesome and protein packed salad.
- For all those who love to make brunch on the weekends, celery in potato rosti is delish. Finely shave a few sticks and add it to your mix.
I think we can all agree that celery doesn't deserve to be stuck at the bottom of the pan!