Creamy crumble: baked celery, bacon and parmesan.

Nigel Slater’s recipes for lamb patties, and baked celery | Meals

Tlisted below are greens I pounce on the second they arrive. Leafy, crisp and very important, the form of greens greatest loved as quickly as attainable after choosing. Whether or not it’s a soft-leaved lettuce or a plume of crinkle-edged chard, it’s gone virtually as quickly as it’s unpacked. After which there are the “lengthy life” greens, these that may fortunately maintain up for a a number of days within the fridge.

At this time was their day. A head of celery, slightly previous its greatest, cooked till translucent and tender, wrapped in streaky bacon and baked beneath a blanket of parmesan sauce and breadcrumbs. The gratin, crisped frivolously on high, got here from the oven effervescent on the edges and was adequate to eat by itself. With out the bacon, I might use it as a facet dish for all the pieces from chilly roast beef to a pork chop. It made a change to make such a secular vegetable the star of the present, particularly as a lot of the celery on this kitchen finally ends up as a again notice, chopped and cooked with onions, carrots and bay.

A bunch of beetroot I had been which means to make use of for days (might it have been every week?) discovered itself grated and squeezed into patties with minced lamb, garlic and bulgur. The addition of cracked wheat helped a small quantity of lamb to feed 4 and inspired the little desserts to crisp within the sizzling oil, to emerge rose pink and scorching.

Beetroot and lamb patties

I recommend chilling the formed patties for an hour within the fridge earlier than cooking. It isn’t important, however one can find them simpler to deal with in case you do. You will want to place them into sizzling oil, then decrease the warmth and depart them alone till they’ve fashioned a crust on the bottom earlier than making an attempt to show them. Use a palette knife and switch them fastidiously, in any other case they’ll crumble. You’ll be able to bind the beetroot and lamb with an egg yolk to make a firmer patty if you want. Serves 4

bulgur 75g, superb
beetroot 250g, uncooked

minced lamb 400g
onion 1, small to medium
garlic 2 massive cloves
dill 2 tbsp, chopped
parsley a small bunch, chopped
groundnut oil slightly

Put the kettle on. Put the bulgur in a mixing bowl, pour over sufficient boiling water to cowl, then put aside.

Peel the beetroot, grate coarsely into a big bowl and add the minced lamb. Chop the onion, crush the garlic and add to the beetroot with the dill, parsley and a beneficiant grinding of salt and pepper.

Squeeze any water from the cracked wheat along with your palms and add to the meat. Combine all the pieces collectively completely, then squish the mince into 12 items, every in regards to the dimension of a golf ball. Flatten every ball slightly, place on a baking tray and canopy with clingfilm, then refrigerate for at the very least an hour.

Set the oven at 180C/fuel mark 4. Heat a frying pan over a average warmth, brush the patties with slightly oil and fry until frivolously colored on either side. Switch to a baking dish and end within the sizzling oven for 15-20 minutes and serve.

Baked celery, bacon and parmesan

Creamy crumble: baked celery, bacon and parmesan.
Creamy crumble: baked celery, bacon and parmesan. {Photograph}: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

To be actually good, the celery have to be really tender and the one strategy to obtain that’s to poach it earlier than you set it within the oven to bake. The stalks tackle a silky high quality whenever you do that and take in slightly flavour from the bay leaves and onions within the poaching water. Baked with the crisp, smoked bacon and parmesan sauce the dish is a delight both as an accompaniment (assume boiled gammon or poached rooster) or as a dish in its personal proper. Serves 6 as a facet dish, three as a major course

celery 2 plump heads
onion 1, small
bay leaves 2
milk 250ml
butter 45g
flour 45g

parmesan 50g, grated, plus slightly to complete
parsley a couple of sprigs
streaky bacon 75g
contemporary white breadcrumbs 50g

Snap the heads of celery into particular person ribs, then wash, trim and neaten the place vital. Lay the ribs in a big, flameproof baking dish and pour in sufficient water to only cowl them. Peel and thinly slice the onion and add to the dish with the bay leaves and slightly salt and pepper. Depart over a low warmth, with the water at a mild bubble, until the celery is tender to the purpose of a knife.

Set the oven at 180C/fuel mark 4. Take away the celery, onion and bay with a draining spoon and switch to a big, shallow baking dish or roasting tin, leaving the new cooking liquor behind. Heat the milk in a small pan. In a separate pan, soften the butter over a average warmth and stir within the flour. Proceed cooking, stirring just about constantly, until you’ve got a pale, biscuit colored paste – it would scent heat and nutty. Add 350ml of the celery cooking liquor adopted by the nice and cozy milk, a small ladleful at a time, till you’ve got a easy sauce.

Stir in three quarters of the parmesan and switch the warmth down so the sauce simmers gently for a great 15 minutes. Chop the parsley not too finely, stir it into the sauce, then style and proper the seasoning.

Grill or fry the bacon till crisp then add to the celery. Pour over the sauce, combine the reserved parmesan with the breadcrumbs and scatter excessive. Bake for 40 minutes or so till the sauce is effervescent enticingly.

Comply with Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater

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