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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Easy-easier-easiest sides: celery

A lot of people think celery is only good as a transport device for peanut butter or cream cheese.  And there's that business about the act of eating celery burning more calories than you actually get from the celery.  Celery has gotten a bad rap, folks.  It has a good portion of vitamin C and other stuff that may help prevent cancer and high blood pressure (source).  It's cheap even when organic, available year-round and it holds well in the fridge.  It's a great side dish waiting to happen!

Easiest: Crudité

OK, raw is easiest and "Ants on a Log" are cute.  But try dried cranberries for "Fire Ants on a Log" for a change of entomological pace.  Peanut butter is classic, but give hummus or an alternative nut butter a whirl.  Ranch dip is a kid favorite, but some garlic aioli (mayo with minced garlic and a splash of lemon juice) might be nice for the grownups.

EasierBraised Celery (makes as many servings as needed)

2 ribs celery per serving, trimmed and cut into 3" lengths
1/2 tbsp butter per serving
1 tbsp shredded cheddar per serving

Put celery in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Drain and toss with butter.  Sprinkle with parmesan to serve.

EasyBraised Celery with Olive Tapenade

Follow directions above but serve with 2 tbsp of Muffaletta olive relish per serving instead of cheese. Pin It

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