Gratinéed Celery with Tomato & Parmesan

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Apples for Jam

Apples for Jam

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2010

  • About

This is aunt Julietta’s recipe. I love having these types of things at her home — she always serves them alongside a beautiful roast. This also works very well with cauliflower broken up into smaller bits, zucchini (courgettes), cardoons or the thicker stems of silverbeet, and is especially good with pumpkin slices. It is very good fried first and then arranged on the tomato, but that’s a bit more of a job.


  • 310 g(11 oz) inner celery stalks, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and squashed a bit
  • 185 ml(6 fl oz/¾ cup) tomato passata
  • 3 basil leaves, torn
  • about 4 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


With a sharp knife, trim the strings from the celery stalks and cut into short lengths (about 4 cm/ inches). Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the celery for about 20 minutes until it is soft but not collapsing. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) and lightly oil an 18 cm (7 inch) square shallow ovenproof dish.

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a small pan over medium heat. When you can smell the garlic, add the passata and 3 tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper and add the basil. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes for the flavours to mingle and the sauce to thicken a little. Fish out the garlic clove and throw it away.

Drain the celery. Spread the flour on a plate and pat the celery pieces lightly into it to coat both sides. Spread about a third of the tomato sauce over the bottom of the dish. Arrange the celery on top, in a single layer or slightly overlapping. Dollop the rest of the tomato sauce on top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden in places. Sprinkle with the parmesan and bake for another 10 minutes or so until it is golden and crusty. Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.