Australian chef Chris Honor is a master of his craft: elevating vegetable dishes using the best product, keeping things utterly simple and bringing vibrant, healthy produce-driven food to the masses. His North London restaurant, Chriskitch, is a must-visit for any fan of fresh, vegetable-forward cuisine, and his new cookbook is packed with hits.
It is not often you see celery taking center stage on the plate; it is usually just an add-on, like chopped onions. But celery has great flavor and deserves to be enjoyed for what it is. So here is a recipe to get it out of the crisper and onto the table. It’s equally good as a room-temperature side dish for grilled meats.
- 1 head of celery, stalks separated and halved
- Pinch of dried chamomile flowers (from a tea bag)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2/3 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- coarse sea salt
- 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1 apple, thinly sliced into half moons
- 1 Orange, zested and segmented
- 2 3/4 ounces soft goat cheese, in coarse pieces
- A pinch of chili flakes
- extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
For the dish
Preheat the oven to 340ºF.
In a shallow baking dish, combine the celery, chamomile flowers, bay leaves, butter, thyme, and salt. Spread out the celery stalks as much as possible to keep the layer thin. Splash in a few spoonfuls of water, cover with aluminum foil, and cook for about 1 hour, or until tender.
Remove from the oven. When cool, transfer to a shallow dish and add the pecans, apple, orange, goat cheese, chili flakes, and oil. Season and serve.