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Braised Celery Over Cheesy Polenta + A Sparkling Vouvray #FoodieExtravaganza

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month.

Posting day for #FoodieExtravaganza is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board!

This month Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting this month's #FoodieExtravaganza. She wrote: "Celery soup, Celery Steak, Braised Celery, Celery Salad, Stuffed Celery.  We use celery all the time in our cooking but seldom does it get an opportunity to shine in a starring role.  Let's change that as we celebrate National Celery Month." Love it. Here's the list of our celery creations...


Braised Celery
  • 1 to 2 T olive oil
  • 1 head organic celery, trimmed to 6" lengths
  • 1 organic shallot, peeled and minced, approximately 2 T
  • 1 C chicken stock 
  • splash of white wine
  • 2 T whole grain mustard
  • 2 T vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used Meyer lemon)

Baked Polenta
  • 2 C polenta
  • 6 C warm water
  • 2 T olive oil
  • freshly ground sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 C shredded cheese + more for serving
  • splash of olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper, for serving


Baked Polenta
Butter a baking dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the ingredients, except for the cheese, together in a large mixing bowl. Then spoon everything into the baking dish. Bake for an hour, but stir it every twenty minutes. When it's finished, add 1 C shredded cheese - I used a mixture of asiago, parmesan, and mozzarella - and a splash of olive oil. Stir that together until the cheese is completely incorporated.

Braised Celery
In a large skillet heat 1 to 2 T olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery and cook 1 to 2 minutes, turning once. Add minced shallot, stock, and a splash of white wine. Cover the pan and gently simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until celery is translucent and fork-tender.

While the celery cooks, whisk together mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice to create a thick vinaigrette. Once the celery is cooked, add in the vinaigrette and toss to coat.

To Serve
Spoon the polenta out onto a plate and top it braised celery and more cheese. You can add a few grinds of black pepper, too.

Remember: whatever you don't eat of the polenta, spoon into a clean, buttered pan. It can be sliced and lightly pan-fried in the morning to go under eggs.

+ A Wine Pairing

And I have a bonus for you today as I paired the braised celery with a delicious sparkling wine, Champalou Vouvray Brut Méthode Traditionnelle. Back in December 2019, my French Winophiles blogging group turned their eyes to wines from Vouvray; you can read my post for that (here), if you're interested. Vouvray is almost always a single varietal - Chenin Blanc - but it can contain up to 5% Menu Pineau though that's still fairly uncommon.

This wine, from Catherine and Didier Champalou, was fermented in stainless steel with a second fermentation taking place in the bottle in accordance with the Méthode Traditionnelle. It poured a beautiful pale yellow with persistent bubbles. With sweetness of quince at the front, it had enough bright citrus to carry its own against the earthy vinaigrette of my braised celery.

That's a wrap for the #FoodieExtravaganza celebration of celery. We'll be back next month with Sue of Palatable Pastime leading an event for National Empanada Day. Stay tuned...


  1. What a wonderful meal and great pairing. Thanks for joining me this month. Cheers

  2. Such a gorgeous meal! That polenta looks dreamy.

  3. This makes me think of braised cardoons. I don’t always see that available so celery is a great idea for year round use!

  4. This sounds so delicious, and I love the wine pairing! Cheers!

  5. Oooh, I love that warm vinaigrette over the braised celery, Camilla! Bet it goes perfectly with the rich polenta.

  6. That plate with celery & creamy polenta makes me feel hungry Camilla!


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