Veggie of the Week: Celery pt. 4

Preparation and Serving:
– Wash leaves and stem in cold water to remove any dirt, fungicides, and pesticides
– Remove tough stem ends
– Celery is used in many soups, salads, stews, sauces
– Celery leaves are strongly flavoured but are sometimes used as a flavouring in soups and stews or as a dried herb
– Celery seeds can be used as flavouring or spice, either as whole seeds or ground and mixed with salt, as celery salt
– Celery salt can also be made from an extract of the roots, or using dried leaves
– Celery salt is used as a seasoning in Bloody Mary cocktails, on Chicago-style hot dogs, and in certain pre-mixed spice blends

Celery Gratin

Celery Gratin
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 pound celery (8 to 10 large stalks), peeled and thinly sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 slices white sandwich bread
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix celery, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper.
3. Divide evenly among four 6-ounce ramekins, packing mixture in firmly.
4. Place ramekins on baking sheet, and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
5. Bake until celery is tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, tear bread into large pieces, and pulse in food processor until coarse crumbs form.
7. Add remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, and drizzle with olive oil; pulse just until crumbs are coated with oil, 4 to 6 times.
8. Remove aluminum foil from ramekins.
9. Dividing evenly, sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over celery.
10. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes more.
11. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
12. Enjoy!

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