Celery is more commonly used as a flavouring vegetable rather than a star of the dish (or a vehicle for nut butter), but it can hold its own when prepared well. Using raw celery in salads is an obvious choice, but have you ever tried braising it?
In this recipe, good ol’ celery takes on a new, softer form with the addition of a few strong-flavoured ingredients like pancetta, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s simple, almost rustic in nature, and tastes marvellous. Plus, you’ll be getting plenty of gut health beneficial fibre and antioxidants, which celery is full of.
Pancetta is similar to prosciutto or bacon, so those are interchangeable. You can also leave it out completely, if you like.
I think this braised celery dish goes particularly well with grilled fish or grilled chicken.
This recipe is low-carb, gluten-free, HBF program and Whole30 friendly.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 brown onion, sliced
- 100 g /3.5 oz pancetta or bacon, finely diced (about 5–6 slices)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1 small red chilli, deseeded and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 3–4 large celery sticks, cut into 4cm-thick pieces
- 1 small carrot, peeled and sliced
- 8–10 sun-dried or semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 400 g tinned tomatoes (1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2/3 teaspoons sea salt
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan or a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and pancetta and cook for 8-10 minutes, until soft and golden. Add garlic, chilli, bay leaf, celery, carrot and sun-dried tomatoes and stir for 1 minute to combine and release aromas.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, water and salt and stir to combine. Bring to boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 40-45 minutes. Stir a couple of time while cooking.
- Serve as a side with your favourite protein main.