Celery Victor, a grand American classic is usually credited to Victor Hertzler, the chef at San Francisco’s St. Francis Hotel at the turn of the 20th Century. Simmering celery hearts in a rich broth, then chilling them in a brisk citrus-and-olive oil marinade elevates their flavor. They are then tossed with chopped pimiento or roasted red pepper, dressed with some of the marinade and served on a bed of Romaine lettuce. Our veggie version has been adapted by permission from the AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research).
4 cups vegetable broth
1 carrot, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 whole garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 small onion, quartered
4 parsley sprigs
1 large celery heart
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 (jarred) pimientos or roasted red peppers
8 large Romaine lettuce leaves
2 tsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. capers, drained, rinsed and finely chopped
Place broth, carrot, garlic, onion and parsley in deep, medium
skillet. Cover, and over medium-high heat, bring liquid to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
Quarter celery heart lengthwise. Cut off and discard leaves, except
those on smallest, innermost ribs. Add celery to hot broth. Cover,
and simmer until celery is almost tender, 5-8 minutes. The outer
ribs should be flexible, not floppy. Cool celery in cooking liquid until
In one-gallon, resealable plastic bag, combine lemon juice with 2
tablespoons of cooking liquid, salt and pepper. Add oil, then celery.
Seal bag and marinate celery in refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours. Strain remaining
broth and reserve for another use.
Cut marinated celery crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Coarsely chop
pimientos and combine with celery.
To serve, make a bed of lettuce on a plate. Mound celery and pimento
mixture atop lettuce leaves and spoon few spoonfuls of marinade on
top. Sprinkle on parsley and capers, and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 80 calories, 5 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat),
8 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 380 mg sodium.
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