Braised Fenland Celery with Celery & Hazelnut Pesto
Looking for a grown-up starter for your next dinner party? Look no further...
Ingredients:1 head Fenland celery, all leaves removed for the pesto (see below) 1 tsp unsalted butter 1 pinch of salt 1 shallot, peeled and sliced 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced 300ml gluten-free vegetable stock the juice of 1 lemon
For the pesto:all of the reserved leaves from the head of celery 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed to a paste 1 pinch of salt cayenne pepper the juice of ½ lemon 3 tbsp roasted peeled hazelnuts 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
- For the celery braise, wash the celery well. Trim both ends of the head then cut in half through the root. Place the celery into a large heavy-based pan, cut side down, with the butter and a pinch of salt. Gently sweat over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the celery is slightly softened. Add the shallot and garlic. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Pour in the stock and, a good squeeze of lemon juice, bring to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes over a low heat or until the celery is soft and tender. Keep warm.
- Now, make the pesto. Place the celery and parsley leaves in a food processor, add the garlic, a good pinch of salt, cayenne, lemon juice and hazelnuts. Blitz, dribbling in the rapeseed oil until a pesto consistency is achieved, let down with more oil if necessary. Check the seasoning and add more salt, cayenne and lemon to taste.
- To serve, carefully lift the braised celery from the pan. Place on a serving platter with the cut side facing upwards. Spoon over the pesto and serve.