You guys, did you know that celery is, like, a real vegetable? That you can cook? As the main ingredient in a dish and not some tiny, background component? And it would be delicious? You did? Well, I didn’t until just now!
I still had a heap of veggie box celery left over after my Waldorf Salad efforts, and not having much of an idea what to do with it, I Googled “celery recipes” for inspiration. At the bottom of the page amongst the oh-so-helpful search suggestions was the phrase “braised celery recipes” and that was all I needed. I may have even clicked on that phrase and flicked through a couple of the recipes, but I already knew what I was going to do.
The thing about braising celery is that it changes everything. There’s no bitterness, no stringiness, no aching jaw after all that crunchy. Rather it melts into a tender, sweet-yet-deeply-savory deliciousness. I can’t quite explain it. You’ll just have to make it for yourself.
Braised Celery & Potatoes
1/2 bunch celery
4 medium potatoes (I like Dutch Cream)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
1-2 cups vegetable stock
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Handful of chopped parsley
Wash the celery and chop into 1-inch lengths. Heat a slug of olive oil in a large pan and cook the celery over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Add them to the pan along with a pinch of salt and cook a further 5 minutes. Everything should colour up slightly.
Add the garlic and stir through, then pour in the wine and stir, scraping the bottom to get all the bits up. Allow it to reduce a bit. Add 1 cup of stock, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the liquid levels and add more if it’s getting dry before the potatoes are cooked. The dish is done when the the potatoes are tender and almost all the liquid is gone, leaving a glossy coat all over everything.
Stir through the lemon juice and parsley. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper. Spoon out into big bowls, grab a fork, and get to know your celery in a whole new way.