May 25, 2020

Celery, Tomatoes and Potatoes

Janine Pineo Photo | Celery, Tomatoes and Potatoes

Janine Pineo Photo | Celery, Tomatoes and Potatoes

Celery is a vegetable that gets little respect.

I like it not only in dishes, but all by itself. Years when I have a bumper crop of stalks (I only harvest the bunch at the end of the season), I have even been known to boil it and serve it with a touch of salt and pepper and maybe a pat of butter.

It is delicious.

So I was intrigued by this recipe by an Italian chef on the local PBS station. “Lidia’s Commonsense Cooking” uses a lot of basic ingredients to make simple dishes, and I decided I needed to try this one. I did not have the recommended potato variety, so mine ended up a bit mushy. Nor did I have plain green olives, but ones stuffed with pimentos. I also think the cooking time was nowhere close to being correct, such as five minutes to get the potatoes browned on all sides and mostly cooked through. The dish is supposed to take about 15 minutes to cook. It took that just for the potatoes I was using.

The end result may not have been exactly what was in the book (I find only in baking do I even come close some days), but it tasted terrific and was a new way to serve potatoes.

As for the name, it seemingly doesn’t have one, except for the list of its main ingredients.

Celery, Tomatoes and Potatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 to 5 medium peeled potatoes (Yukon Gold was recommended)
4 celery stalks
2 beefsteak tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped green olives (I used the stuffed kind)
sea salt

Put the olive oil in a nonstick frying pan and heat. Add the diced potatoes and cook until brown on several sides and the cubes are close to being cooked through. (This took about 15 minutes for me.)

Add the chopped celery and cook until celery becomes tender, at least 5 minutes.

Add the chopped tomato and season with salt. Cook 5 more minutes until the tomatoes have begun to break down.

Add in the olives just to warm.

Serve hot.

— Janine Pineo