BRAISED HEARTS OF CELERY VINAIGRETTE
Braised celery has a much milder flavor than raw celery, and needs a robust, lemony sauce. It makes a great starter or side dish. It also keeps well for a few days in the refrigerator.
3 celery hearts, cut in half lengthwise, ends trimmed
2 Tbsp (30mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 Cup (240 mL) chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice plus 1 large lemon, sliced
1/4 Cup (60 mL) dry white wine
freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and drop in the celery. Boil until partially cooked, about 3 minutes. Drain, pat dry and lay side by side, cut side up, in a baking dish. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat; add the onion and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir together for a minute, until fragrant, and add the stock, lemon juice, and wine. Bring to a boil on top of the stove, then pour over the celery. Season the celery with salt and pepper and lay the lemon slices on top. Cover tightly and place in the oven. Braise for 40 minutes, or until the celery is thoroughly tender but still holds its shape. Remove from the heat and allow the celery to cool in the liquid.
Using tongs, remove the celery from the pot and cut the halved bunches lengthwise in half again. Transfer to a platter or a wide serving dish. Pour the liquid into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce by about half. Pour over the celery. Drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, grind on some pepper, sprinkle on the parsley and serve, or chill and serve cold or at room temperature. Spoon liquid from the platter over each portion.
CREAMY CELERY SOUP
1 large bunch celery with leaves (about 2 lb) 2 Tbsp (30mL) olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 Tbsp (15mL) fresh thyme leaves salt and coarsely ground black pepper 1/2 Cup (120 mL) white wine 5 Cups (1280 mL) chicken broth 2 medium all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 2 Cups (480 mL) water
Trim ends from celery stalks. Reserve a few celery leaves for garnish; wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Slice celery stalks and remaining leaves crosswise into 1-inch pieces; transfer to colander. Rinse and drain well. In 51/2- to 6-quart saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Add celery and leaves, onion, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until celery is soft but not browned, stirring occasionally. Add wine and cook 2 minutes or until wine is mostly evaporated.
Add broth, potatoes, and water to saucepot; cover and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.
In batches, ladle celery mixture into blender; cover, with center part of cover removed to allow steam to escape, and blend very well until pureed. Pour puree into large bowl. Repeat with remaining mixture.
Return soup to saucepot; heat through. Ladle soup into tureen; sprinkle with pepper and garnish with celery leaves.
PARSLEY AND CELERY SALAD
2 Cups (480 mL) celery (finely chopped)
2 Cups (480 mL) parsley leaves (finely chopped)
½ Cup (120 mL) radish (grated)
salt according to taste
¼ tsp (1.25 mL)black pepper
4 tsp (20 mL) olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL)lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL)honey
Add salt and pepper into lemon juice and stir. Add a teaspoon of oil and whisk the mixture well. In a bowl, combine celery, parsley, radish, and honey. Sprinkle the lemon mixture and toss gently. Tasty parsley and celery salad is ready.
Celery is good for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, and gout. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Celery sticks contain a diuretic substance, which helps remove uric acid crystals that can build around joints.
Celery contains phthalides and polyacetylenes. These anti-cancer components detoxify carcinogens. Celery also contains coumarins that enhance the activity of certain white blood cells.
Celery is rich in both sodium and potassium. These minerals help in regulating the body’s fluid balance.
Celery is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol. It is also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and manganese.
Celery contains a chemical that can lower levels of stress hormones in the blood. This allows blood vessels to expand, giving the blood more room to flow, thereby reducing pressure.
Celery seeds help eliminate uric acid. Celery is excellent for people with bladder disorders, kidney problems, or cystitis. Celery seeds also assist women in avoiding urinary tract infections.