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Warm Lentil and Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Celery — and Questions

February 22, 2013 by Joan Nova in Finishing Touches, Plating/Presentation, Recipe Development, Salads, Vegetables | 15 Comments

If you like lentils (I love!) and if you enjoy vegetarian meals, this probably looks good to you.

It was — and it wasn’t.

What worked.

Red lentils are my absolute favorite and make a wonderful pantry staple. They’re delicate but versatile and cook up very quickly. And they look prettier on the plate than their muddy-looking cousins.

Here I simply cooked them in chicken broth with small amounts of sauteed  onion, garlic, leek, shredded marinated artichokes and chopped tomato on a low boil for 10-15 minutes.

I plated them with slivered radicchio which had been dressed with white balsamic glaze, a few oil-cured olives, a drizzle of olive oil and red chili flakes.

What Didn’t.

The celery! The parmesan was delicious with the lentils but the celery … #FAIL.

Seriously, I wish they sold celery by the stalk. Every time I buy a head, it just seems like too much to use in my regular meal planning.

How much celery can one person eat?

Besides salad or in a stew/soup base, what do you use it for?

I wanted another element on the plate and had a large head of celery that I wanted to use. I thought roasting with parmesan would be interesting. After all, I roast every other vegetable I eat so why not?

I peeled the stalks very well and baked them with a little olive oil at 400 for a while, then added parmesan and switched to broil to brown up the cheese … and, inadvertently, the leaves (more on that later).

I thought I’d pick the celery up and eat it along with the lentils as one would a breadstick, BUT the stalks were very stringy and chewy.

The seemingly burnt leaves, however, were great crumbled over the lentils.

So, question(s) …

How would you have made Parmesan Celery — or is it just a bad idea?

Do you have any good ideas for celery as a vegetable?

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NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!

15 Comments

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  1. I juice it and drink it. Slap some penut butter on them when I want a snack or my favorite with extra creamy blue cheese. Use it my ragu, my soups, stews …eat them raw…have no other ideas…

    I like your lentils…
    Norma-Platanos, Mangoes and Me! recently posted..Causa Limeña + Steak TartareMy Profile

  2. Lori Lynn says:

    I like to use celery leaves as a garnish (for example, instead of the ubiquitous parsley) the pale green color is refreshing.

    Love that you take risks in the kitchen Joan!
    LL
    Lori Lynn recently posted..Cooking for the Stars: Wolfgang Puck’s Kale SaladMy Profile

  3. Nice veggie dish Joan. I’m with you regarding the excess celery. At least you attempted something with it!
    Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul recently posted..Photo Friday-Greek Yoghurt and HoneyMy Profile

  4. I have never been fond of celery and it seems to go bad in my refrig before I can use it all. Maybe that’s why my mother kept it in a tray of cold water in her refrigerator. Guess I’m not the right one to ask about celery, but I do love lentils and they look so colorful and inviting.
    Sam
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Checking InMy Profile

  5. I have to admit that I am not drawn to celery. When I see celery soup, for example, I just skip over it. But I do use a lot of raw celery in salads, juices, and just to eat (mainly my husband). I don’t know what I would have done to make Parmesan Celery–maybe just not make it. But the lentils look heavenly.
    Victoria of Flavors of the Sun recently posted..The Beach, The Vendors, Street Food…and a RecipeMy Profile

  6. Aurora Gil says:

    I’m not crazy about raw celery, but I enjoy it sauteed, with seasoning. The fresh leaves are great when added to salad greens.

  7. My kids eat chicken noodle soup by the GALLONS so I have a hard time keeping celery in the house. Plus, my daughter loves them raw, so go figure! Not a bad problem for me to have!!! Send me your excess celery!

  8. I love your lentils. The way I used celery is in the green shakes or green soups. But I get what you’re saying. I wonder if you could freeze chopped celery so you could have it as you need it. I love your attempt though.
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Mock Porchetta with Root Vegetables, the Best Roast Pork You’ll Ever EatMy Profile

  9. Salads like this work so well even for a full meal. I love radicchio and the many varieties we use to get in Italy were on our table all the time. Wish they could be bought here. Nice dish and the combination is really interesting. I wonder if shaving the outside of the stalks putting them in raw would work better.
    Patricia Durr recently posted..The Birds I MeetMy Profile

  10. Shannon says:

    unless celery is hidden in my soups and stews, I normally only eat it covered in peanut butter and topped with raisins :)
    Shannon recently posted..Twice Baked Sw PotatoesMy Profile

  11. Love celery! Thus would be good shaved and the parmesan flaked with a bit of a lemon vinagrette plus a few walnuts. I stir fry with it and snack with peanut butter and raisins! Delish!

  12. sippitysup says:

    I’m just the opposite! I go through two heads of celery a week. A couple of stalks at 2pm are a very typical snack for me. I may have to see if I can do something with the Parmesan celery idea. I love an Italian celery salad with mushroom that is smothered in shaved Parmesan. So I am precluded into believing this could be delicious. Thanks for the inspiration. GREG
    sippitysup recently posted..Default Pasta with Oyster MushroomsMy Profile

  13. OMG that is too funny, I had that very conversation in my head about celery today because I needed only 2 stalks and it is not my fave. I think your try was courageous. The lentil salad is a delish consolation prize.

  14. Erica says:

    I love cooking and eating lentils..they are easy and quick to make, but healthy, versatile and delicious! This salad looks amazing, Joan!
    Erica recently posted..Sancocho o Sopa de Guandú (Pigeon Peas Colombian Soup)My Profile

  15. what a great challenge for you. i love celery in its low glory. i add it to soups, use it as a hand snack and sometimes I process it and use as a veg in dips, sauces. nice lentils, though. looove me some lentejas.
    Bren @ Flanboyant Eats recently posted..Papas a la HuancaínaMy Profile

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