Braised Celery

Celery isn’t often used as a vegetable side dish. But it should be. It’s familiar, while at the same time something new for your eaters. It’s easy to prepare, using ingredients you have on hand. It goes with almost every main dish. It’s crunchy. And it’s much better than you might imagine. The best results come from using the fourth through tenth ribs that come off the stalk. Those are large enough to have good flavor, while still being tender and blemish-free.

Celery on White

  • 4 ribs celery
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

1. Cut off the leafy parts and the bottom 1/4 inch of the celery ribs. Wash the ribs under cold running water. Cut them crosswise into pieces about three inches long. Ten slice the pieces end to end into three or four thin strips.

2. Set the celery slices into a glass or porcelain casserole or baking dish, one layer deep. Pour enough chicken stock over the celery so that about half the celery is sticking out. Sprinkle all the other ingredients except the parsley over the celery.

3. Bake the celery, uncovered, in the center of the preheated 375-degree oven until it begins to soften–about eight minutes.

4. Serve the celery sticks right out of the baking dish onto serving plates, wet with the pan juices but not dripping. Top with chopped parsley.

Serves four.

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