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Supper Club: Apio (Sweet-and-Sour Celery)

Dino made a really interesting celery dish for the Passover themed dinner. I’m not usually that into celery, but this gives it really great flavor. And it’s a great way to use up celery if you have extra in the fridge. I often buy celery and only end up using a couple of stalks, and then feel guilty for wasting the rest. Now, I’ll just make this with the leftovers instead!

Sweet-and-Sour Celery

Sweet-and-Sour Celery
Gourmet April 2009

yield: Makes 8 (side dish) servings
active time: 15 min
total time: 45 min

Honey provides the sweet, and lemon juice the sour, in the Passover dish known as apio, which has origins in Turkey (the Ottoman Empire became a haven for Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition in 1492). As the celery cooks, it soaks up the braising liquid and becomes silky.

¾ cup water
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons mild honey
4 lbs. celery (2 to 3 bunches; any dark green outer ribs peeled), cut into 2-inch pieces, reserving about 1 cup inner celery leaves
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Cut a round of parchment paper to fit just inside a wide heavy 6-to 8-quarts pot, then set round aside.

Simmer water, lemon juice, oil, honey, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in pot, stirring, until honey has dissolved. Stir in celery (but not leaves) and cover with parchment round. Simmer until tender and liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 35 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, coarsely chop reserved leaves.

Serve celery sprinkled with celery leaves and parsley.

What to drink:
Yarden Galilee
Cabernet Sauvignon ’05

Cooks’ note: Celery can be braised 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat over low heat, adding more water if necessary, or reheat in a microwave. Add celery leaves and parsley before serving

MacGourmet Rating: 4 Stars


  • Katy

    You are too much. I was just thinking there should be a more exciting way to serve celery and here it is. Definitely going to give this a try some time in the near future. We like celery here and this would be a unique way to serve it. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe.

    And THANK YOU for following my blog.

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