The Musette: Braised celery with beans and saffron

I love celery but all too often only use it in mirepoix, soffritto or for dipping into guacamole. My late mother, a fabulous cook, often served it in a bechamel sauce studded with bits of bacon as one of her many vegetable side dishes with her legendary Sunday roast lunches.

I have since discovered that the Persians revered celery and have a stewed dish called  khoresh karafs which includes a whole bunch of celery and an entire one of parsley, too. The celery is braised to velvet-soft submission, releasing an immense flavour (somewhere between celery, softened shallots and fennel) that no one (and certainly not I) ever thought celery capable of. Traditionally, this stew is made with meat, but I make it using white beans.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 pinch saffron (about 30 strands; optional)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 500g (1 lb) celery, stalks separated, trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths
  • 3 fat garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1ΒΌ tsp fine sea salt
  • β…› tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 100g (1 1/2 cup) flat leaved parsley, woody stalks discarded, finely chopped
  • 400g (1 1/2 cup) jar or tin cannellini/haricot beans/chickpeas, not drained
  • 4 tbsp small black olives (optional)
  • 1 tbsp organic lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp organic lemon juice



1. If using, put the saffron in a cup and cover with 2 tbsp two freshly boiled water and leave to one side.

2. Pour the olive oil into a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and, when hot, add the onion and fry, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Add the celery, cook for 10 minutes more, then stir in the garlic, turmeric, salt and pepper, and cook for another 15 minutes.

3. Add the tomato puree, cook for a couple of minutes, then add the parsley and beans with their water (keep the container handy). Cook for 15 minutes.

4. Fill up the empty container with water from the tap, add this to the pan, then fill the tin again, this time only by half, and add that, too, along with the lemon juice, zest, black olives and the saffron plus its soaking water.

5. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the celery has gone from crunchy to tender, then almost soft, and the consistency is like a thickish stew. Take off the heat, add more lemon juice and salt, to taste, if need be, then serve over some boiled brown rice or sweet potato mash.

12 Comments on “The Musette: Braised celery with beans and saffron

  1. πŸ’œ Control Freak, this is brilliant but it seems that you losing Control of YOUR!!! Memory; how can “studded with bits of bacon as one of her many vegetable side dishes” be a “vegetable side dish” surely it’s a “bacon…side dish” πŸ˜‹πŸ˜›πŸ€­πŸ€«πŸ˜πŸ€” ?


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: ReBlogging ‘The Musette: Braised celery with beans and saffron’ – Link Below | Relationship Insights by Yernasia Quorelios

  3. πŸ’Ž – Diamond Hard – πŸ’Ž

    πŸ’Ž Don’t worry about “memory…loss” EveryOne; because “memory…loss” is a Return to ChildLike 0D thru’ 5D+ Knowing instead of 3DMemory which (WITCH!!! πŸ§™ πŸͺ„πŸ§Ή) can be misleading EveryBody

    πŸ’Ž – Diamond Hard – πŸ’Ž



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