Side Dish, Stew, Vegan

Braised Celery and Kalamata Olives

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Previously I had said I wanted to be able to get excited about having celery in my CSA box and this time I genuinely did.  After the second installment of celery I scoured the internet to find fun and creative ways to prepare it.  I pinned them all here but there were a few that I was really excited to try.  This recipe from Lemon and Anchovies stood out to me.  The combination of slowly cooked tomatoes, onions, celery and kalamata olives sounded delicious in its simplicity.  I brought this to work for lunch the next day and had to email out the recipe because the smell was making everyone drool and they couldn’t believe it was celery.  Yup, celery.  It can be that good.

 

Delightful Recipe

Serves 4
Adapted from Lemons and Anchovies

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 pounds celery (1 large or 2 medium heads)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled (I used more for my half batch)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives (I used kalamata from a jar)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups hot water
  1. Separates the heads of celery and wash and trim the stalks.  Shave the tough outer ribs, if necessary, then cut the stalks (including leafy parts) in 4-inch or smaller pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic cloves and onions and heat until they start to sizzle.  Cook for a  minute or two, just to give the onions a little color.
  3. Add the celery, salt and crushed red pepper then stir, making sure to coat the celery with oil.
  4. Cook over medium heat for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the olives, raise the heat a bit and sauté the vegetables for about 15 minutes.  Stir from time to time.  The celery and onions should soften and caramelize a bit at the edges.
  6. Stir in the tomato paste in the hot water and add to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil.  Cover the pan and lower the heat to simmer.  Cook about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the celery is completely tender and caramelized and the liquid has reduced to a glaze (my half batch simmered for 25 minutes).
  7. Serve warm.

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