Celery Baked in Vinaigrette with Pancetta and Shallots
This is a great way to serve celery as a vegetable. I used silicone paper (baking parchment) for this as it looks very pretty if you take the whole parcel to the table – otherwise foil would do. For 4 to 6 people, you can double the ingredients and make two parcels.
|1 head celery|
|3 slices pancetta or smoked streaky bacon|
|6 shallots, peeled (and split if the bulbs are dividing)|
|3 tablespoons light olive oil|
|1 or 2 thyme sprigs|
|1 rosemary sprig|
|4 sage leaves|
|1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar|
|salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 9, 475°F (240°C).|
|Need help with conversions?|
You will also need a double thickness of silicone paper (parchment), 15 x 24 inches when folded (38 x 60 cm), and a large solid baking tray.
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection
Begin by removing the tough outer layers of the celery, then pare the outside of the root off, but leave it attached. Now cut across the celery about 3½ inches (9 cm) from the base. Stand the lower half upright and cut vertically through the centre.
Then cut each half into 4 to make 8 pieces, keeping them attached to the root. Save a couple of nice leaves (preferably attached to a small stem) and trim the top pieces of celery to a similar length to the base, cutting off any really tough and stringy edges.
Now wash all the pieces and dry them on kitchen paper.
Next heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan, then lightly brown the celery and shallots, keeping them on the move so they brown evenly.
Now transfer them to a plate. Increase the heat under the pan, add the pancetta and fry the slices until they're really crisp – it will take 2-3 minutes and you'll need to keep turning them.
Next lay the silicone paper over the baking tray and lightly grease a circle of 9 inches (23 cm) on it. Arrange the celery in an attractive shape on the paper, putting the prettiest pieces on the top, add the shallots, thyme, rosemary and sage leaves in among it, and season with salt and pepper.
Now combine the remaining olive oil and wine vinegar, sprinkle that over the vegetables, followed by the pancetta crumbled into pieces with your hands.
Next fold the silicone paper over and seal, making pleats, all round – you may find a couple of metal (not plastic) paper clips useful here, as it's essential to keep the steam trapped inside.
Place the parcel in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes.
After that carefully unwrap the paper – you may need scissors – and serve the vegetables with the juices spooned over.
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An unusual way of cooking celery, the addition of a cheese and onion sauce brings a creaminess and plenty of flavour to one of winter's best vegetables.
This excellent recipe is a treat for vegetarians and meat eaters, and features a totally successful culinary marriage: celery and Stilton, plus a few other ingredients besides.
Celery is an underrated vegetable - make sure you eat it in the winter months when it has the best flavour and, preferably, after a frost. One of the very best soups you can make.
This is perfect for winter, when celery and celeriac are at their height of seasonality, having had a good frost to intensify their flavour. Serve with crusty bread.
Celery has such a lot going for it as a raw ingredient in salads, and because of that we rather forget how good it is cooked and served as a vegetable. This method is delightfully quick and easy, and tastes just wonderful.
For vegetarians – or simply for a change – it is a nice idea to omit the bacon and pile some croûtons on top of this soup in a heatproof bowl, then sprinkle with ¾ oz (20 g) of strong Cheddar and melt under a hot grill.
This is really good made with a creamy blue cheese like the Irish Cashel Blue, but if you can't get hold of that a blue Wensleydale would also be good.
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