Poor old celery; it is more often an ingredient than the star of a
dish. However, in this traditional Provencal recipe, it takes center
stage. Beef is the ideal complement to the trinity of celery, tomatoes
and anchovies so serve this with roast beef or grilled steaks.
2 whole heads of celery
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
75 g bacon lardons
1 onion, quartered and sliced
1 carrot, quartered lengthways and sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
200 g canned chopped tomatoes
250 ml dry white wine
1 fresh bay leaf
50 g canned anchovy fillets, about 8,
A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black
Remove any tough outer stalks from the
celery and trim the tips so they will just fit into a large saute pan
with a lid.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the
boil. Add a pinch of salt, then the celery and simmer gently for 10
minutes to blanch. Remove, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Heat the oil in the saute pan. Add the
bacon lardons, onion and carrot and cook gently until lightly browned.
Add the celery and a little salt and pepper and cook just to brown,
Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then
add the tomatoes, wine and bay leaf. Bring to the boil and cook for 1
minute. Add the celery, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, turning
the celery once during cooking.
Transfer the celery to a serving dish.
Raise the heat and cook the sauce to reduce it slightly, about 10
minutes. Pour it over the celery, sprinkle with the anchovies and
parsley and serve.