Roasted celery may more accurately be described as oven-braised, because celery must be cooked in liquid or it will dehydrate quickly. Braising helps the vegetable retain its shape and flavor. Choose celery whose stalks are bunched together tightly and whose leaves are green and crisp. The darker the celery, the more flavorful it will be.
Things You'll Need
- Vegetable scrub brush
- Clean dish towel
- Large knife
- Paring knife
- Large pot
- Salt and pepper, or other seasonings
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Ovenproof dish or baking pan
- Chicken stock, apple juice or white wine
Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Scrub the celery under running water with a vegetable brush and pat it dry with a clean dish towel.
Cut off the bottom stalk of the celery and the top sections with leaves. Save the leaves for soups or salads after trimming the celery. Remove the celery threads by cutting into each stalk slightly with a paring knife and pulling down on the threads to make the celery easier to eat.
Cut each stalk into two pieces using an attractive diagonal cut so it will fit in a serving dish, or leave the stalks whole if you have a long dish. To shorten the cooking time, split each stalk into two pieces lengthwise, if you prefer.
Plunge the celery into the pot of salted boiling water and let the stalks cook for about three minutes to remove some of the celery's bitterness.
Place the blanched celery into an ovenproof dish or baking pan. Drizzle it with olive oil or butter, salt and pepper, and lemon juice.
Pour about 1/2 cup of liquid into the pan for each bunch of celery. Use a flavorful liquid such as chicken stock, apple juice, or a combination of stock and white wine.
Place the celery into the oven and roast it for 15 to 25 minutes. The celery is done when it begins to brown at the edges and is soft when pierced with the tip of a knife.
Tips & Warnings
- Change the character of the final dish by choosing different seasonings, such as celery salt, tarragon, mustard, thyme or wine vinegar.
- For a richer dish, top the celery with Parmesan, blue, Gruyere or goat cheese once it is finished roasting. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the cooked celery then serve or place the dish under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese melts and begins to brown.
- Celery is among the "dirty dozen" vegetables -- those with the highest levels of pesticide residues -- so you may want to buy organic varieties.
- The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
- Environmental Working Group: EWG's 2013 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce
- Country Living: Roasted Celery and Blue Cheese
- The Flavor Bible; Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images