I’m bundled in wool as a faint snow falls outside. Long gone are the farmers markets that wowed me this summer and fall in Missoula. But the taste lingers.
A few weeks back, during one of the last Saturday markets, I picked up a bunch of celery from a local Hmong vendor. That celery was so deliciously green—with far more leaves than stalk. I couldn’t resist. I bought. And then I wondered what in the world I would do with all those celery leaves.
A little Googling, and I came across this recipe for a Persian beef celery stew, which calls for leaves, stalks and all. Perfect!
I followed the recipe, tweaking things just a little bit:
* I used grape-seed oil rather than canola.
* I sautéed the celery with a bit of minced garlic.
* I didn’t have (gasp!) saffron on hand. OK, maybe that was a major tweak. But the stew still worked.
* I couldn’t resist adding a little heat with a pinch each of smoked paprika and hot chile powder.
* I didn’t have preserved lemons so I used a drizzle of lemon juice at the end.
This was a beautiful, earthy stew that warmed us through and through. The celery took on a tang that paired perfectly with the beef (use good beef; you want to savor that flavor).
Are you feeling a little chilly tonight? Make this stew. If you can’t find such a bundle of celery leaves, use the stalks instead. They’ll work. And a pot of this will keep you warm.