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Posts Tagged ‘celery au gratin’

It’s Oscar time of the year, so categories are on my mind.

Celery often features chez nous; sometimes in bit parts–literally–as one element of a soffrito or in a supporting role as a dipping stick for sauces like anchoiade, hummus or guacamole.

Here, it comes out of the shadows and into the spotlight to take the lead, the eponymous role even–with a strong supporting cast.
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750 gms/1 1/2 lbs celery, (weight after separating the sticks and disgarding the damaged outer ones)–cut into short pieces

1 tblsp olive oil

onion–chopped

2 cloves garlic–chopped

3 large tinned tomatoes–chopped

1 level tsp cayenne pepper

1 oz smoked bacon–as much fat as possible removed and chopped small

sprigs of thyme and a couple of bay leaves

2 tblsps dry white wine

salt

12 juicy black olives–stoned and halved

  • Steam the celery until it’s tender and set aside.
  • Sauté the bacon, onion and garlic in the oil until they start to color.

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  • Add the chopped tomatoes with the spices, herbs and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook these gently for five minutes.

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  • Add the wine and cook another couple of minutes to let the wine evaporate.
  • Add the olives and cook on for a couple of minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and add the celery,  turning it over thoroughly in the sauce.

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  • Heat the oven to 220C./425F
  • Spread a layer of the celery mix over the base of an oven proof gratin dish.
  • Season and sprinkle over some parmesan.
  • Repeat the process–seasoning and sprinkling cheese over each layer.
  • Finish with a layer of parmesan
  • Place the dish on the highest shelf–checking after 20 minutes.
  • The gratin should come out sizzling with a pleasingly charred look.
  • Let it rest for 15 minutes.

And the winner is…

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