Have you guys read this Tumblr threat already? It has a follow-up in the form of a short movie (!) and I still think it is incredibly touching and endearing. Now considering that this is the time everyone has statistically fallen long off the New Year’s resolution bandwagon, I am happy to add butter to the mix (as if that’s something new ;)).
To tell you the truth, I have never really cared about celery stalk (this little strings on the sides, this poignant taste and smell, brrrr), but once I read this recipe written by Jane Grigson, I started to consider that there might be something to this super pretty looking vegetable (other than to stir your cocktail with), as long as you pair it with enough butter, salt, pepper and time.
I started making this dish when I was living in Dublin, and I loved how sweet it made my studio smell, and I still don’t know whether that is due to the celery, butter, or the sum of parts. What I do know, is that every time I make a whole bunch of it (really, a whole package), it disappears at any meal, even when that is a weekend breakfast.
The pieces of celery become sweet, salty and buttery, soft enough to incorporate in pasta for example, but with still a little bit of bite. I love to eat this with scrambled eggs, with pasta (tortellini!) sprinkled with aged cheese or stirred into beef stews.
But my favorite way to eat this is probably on a good piece of toast with some smoked salmon (I know, this is shouting decadency) or some good cheese.
I would love you to try this, as I personally think it will surprise you (read: blow your socks off).
Another tip: if you’re making this, why not double the proportions? You’ll be happy you did so. 🙂
- 1 bunch of celery, the heart trimmed off as well as the soft green on top (you can consider saving this to make stock for your next soup or risotto), stalks washed and sliced into half rings (around ½ cm thick)
- 50 grams of unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon of good quality salt, adjust to your likings
- Optionally some parsley to sprinkle on top
- Place all ingredients at once in the pan (no need to brown things or move in steps) and put it on a medium heat in a pan. This process of the celery softening and cooking will take a while, and depending on its water content, it might take from 30 to 60 minutes to get the result you want. The justification for this length of time is that you can walk away from your pan due to the medium heat and the fact that the celery is not supposed to be browning, but rather simmering (at the start that is). Towards the end you will notice that most of the water has evaporated out of the pan and that the celery pieces become shiny and you will notice a slight sizzle.
- The pieces should look vibrant but also a little translucent and soft when they’re ready.
- Serve with chicken, bread, scrambled eggs, mixed through your favorite beef stew, pasta dish or on top of toast with cheese or smoked salmon. Enjoy! 🙂