Celery had never been a great love until I discovered Winter Celery. I thought that it was just celery cleverly rebranded. When I tasted it, I was stunned by the flavour and texture. Intense and crunchy in a way that makes ordinary celery seem very flat.
So I made our oven baked celery soup and took some round to a vegetarian friend. She was smiley and polite. A few hours later she telephoned.
“Where exactly did you get the celery? The soup was sublime.”
Like me, she hadn’t heard of Winter Celery.
Since then, the flags have gone up when I spot Winter Celery in the shops. The season is very short just a few fleeting weeks in November and December in the UK.
A couple of days ago I was given a head of Winter Celery, straight from the Fens. I decided to make braised celery to accompany pot roast pheasant. Danny and I have always been a bit sniffy about braised celery so I asked my friend for her method of braising.
Her recipe was very tasty. We discovered that Winter Celery is the perfect compliment to pheasant and a great new addition to a Sunday lunch menu. Jo’s recipe is below and Winter Celery is available until the New Year.
Jo’s braised Winter Celery recipe (for six)
- 1 head of Winter Celery
- 30g of butter
- 250- 350ml of vegetable stock
- Chopped celery leaves for garnish
- Wash the celery well, de string and cut diagonally into 3cm chunks.
- Melt the butter gently and sauté the celery for a couple of minutes.
- Add the stock to cover and simmer for a few minutes until the celery has softened with a little bite. Strain off the liquid and reserve for soup or casseroles. Serve the celery garnished with the chopped celery leaves. This keeps warm well in a dish (covered with foil) in a warming oven.
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