When it comes to cooked vegetables, celery is generally overlooked which is a shame because it has a wonderful robust flavor that goes brilliantly with roast meat or fowl – and the addition of walnuts and Stilton cheese takes it right off the charts.
Your kitchen will be filled with the most delicious aroma and my sensitive nose decided that it would be a perfect accompaniment to a traditional Sunday lunch of roast beef.
Of course it can go with anything you want and it stands alone very well as a vegetarian dish.
Adapted from a Delia Smith recipe.
BAKED CELERY WITH STILTON & WALNUTS
(Severs 4 -6 as a side dish)
8oz (225g) of celery stalks, washed, trimmed, stripped of all stringy bits and cut into thirds
2oz (56g) of good English Stilton, crumbled
2-3 heaped tablespoons of crème fraîche
2 heaped tablespoons of breadcrumbs
3/4 tablespoon of butter
1/4 cup (59ml measure) of chopped walnuts
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 395F (200C).
Start by steaming the celery for 8-10 minutes until it’s tender – drain and cool a bit.
Butter an 8-inch (20cm) gratin or baking dish, arrange the celery snugly in the dish and season with a little celery salt and freshly ground black pepper. Distribute the crumbled Stilton evenly over the celery then smear the crème fraîche as best you can over all of that.
Melt the butter and combine with the breadcrumbs, chopped walnuts and another grind of black pepper and celery salt to taste. Scatter over the top and bake for 25-35 minutes until golden in patches and the celery is complete tender.
Serve right away.