Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Celery as a STAR???

Today I made celery relish. This is a recipe I saw on Lidia's Italy on PBS. It is a traditional Italian Condiment and goes well with soft and semi soft cheeses. I was amazed when I watched her make it, as 1. I never imagined celery as the star of any dish besides ants on a log. and 2. i was unaware of the changes this vegetable goes through when exposed to heat, acid, and sugar.

The celery becomes almost like little pieces of glass in appearance, but retains a semi crunchy texture. The combination of sweet and sour, with the fresh flavor and crunchy texture of the celery makes it a unique choice of condiment. My recipe made one pint jar. I did not follow Lidias recipe, as I was too lazy to look it up!

8-10 celery stalks (this is a good way to use the tough outer stalks)
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
pinch salt

slice each stalk of celery into thin strips, then dice. add to a medium saucepan, add remaining ingredients, mix well. on medium heat, simmer until celery becomes translucent. the mixture will be very soupy, as the salt and sugar will draw all the water out of the celery. pour mixture into a colander to drain the liquid, place in a sealed jar, or serve warm or cold.

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