Friday, April 30, 2021

A Turkish Feast - Lamb Kofta, Bazlama (Turkish flat bread), Tabbouleh, a simple Turkish salad, and Baklava

Eating fresh and healthy food has never been more important for everyone given the Covid epidemic still looming on our doorstep, and the change of season to Winter in the Southern Hemisphere anyway.  I've been taking note, and I've noticed that now more than ever before, a lot more men, younger and older, professional, hard working or retired, are doing their share of the cooking for their partners, families or themselves, as a lot of women are at work as well and the guys have discovered that they enjoy cooking. Guys, this style of cooking is for you, and a great meal to plan for the weekend. And of course ladies I know that many of you just like me, love to eat lots of simple fresh salads and vegetables and these are the mainstay of a healthy diet and a Turkish menu like this one.

*If you wish, go straight to the recipes at this link with a minimum of photos:*

When we were planning this Turkish style food feast, Mr. HRK volunteered straight away to make the Turkish flatbread, because he knows it requires much the same technique as making pizza dough which he likes to do, but Bazlama, can be cooked very quickly on the BBQ. He found the recipe, which worked perfectly and looked exactly like the Turkish bread we ate in Turkey and tasted just as good. He used a pizza stone for the cooking, which is an off cut from our granite kitchen bench. I prepared the kofta mince, the day before, let it rest in the frig in a bowl overnight and threaded them onto the skewers on the day we ate them. Once again, these were cooked on the BBQ plate by Mr. HRK and were delicious.  I've given you some salad choices, but I discovered when we ate this with friends that if the kofta is to be eaten in the flatbread, all that is required is a tangy yogurt sauce, a delicious tabbouleh, and a simple salad of iceberg lettuce, chopped tomato, chopped cucumber, a few chopped herbs of your choice and some crumbled feta. A dressing of lemon juice and olive oil, a little salt and pepper, and you can be eating vicariously in Istanbul, but much more safely. 

However if you or members of your family are watching what you eat, and not eating bread, then kofta and salad is also delicious eaten in Cos lettuce leaves, packed with the flavour but not the bread calories.So many options with this casual but very tasty way to eat. 

We started our Turkish feast with some homemade Turkish dips,  Pumpkin hummus, Baba Ganoush, (my recipe), and Beetroot Hummus, eaten with my sourdough Cob loaf baked the day before. Mr. P makes wonderful dips.

Bazlama, Turkish Flat Bread

Here's the recipe for the best Turkish Flat bread we have tasted, and can be cooked simply on the BBQ plate in your own home. In Turkey it is normally cooked in an outdoor oven, but it works just as well on the stove top in a cast iron pan.  It is best served warm if you can. Mr. HRK found this recipe at, 04/25/2021. 


Firstly the Cooks note: This recipe makes 4 large flatbreads, however if you prefer them smaller like pita bread,  cut the dough into 8 portions. 

If you can't find Greek style yoghurt, use regular yoghurt and reduce the water  in the recipe to 1 1/4 cups.

The flatbreads also make crispy and delicious bases for pizza. The smaller ones are excellent as pita or pocket breads.

Use plenty of plain flour when you are rolling out the flatbreads to prevent them sticking to the bench, and use a floured rolling pin


(No oil needed to cook)

4 cups Plain Flour 

1 sachet (7 grams or .25 ounce) active dry yeast 

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C, if you are pedantic, we're not)

1/2 cup Greek-style yoghurt

1 tablespoon white sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt (the original recipe used 1 tablespoon but we thought it was slightly too salty, up to you)


1. Dissolve the yeast, sugar and salt in a small bowl with the warm water. Add the water and the yoghurt to the flour and mix well. The dough will be nice and soft but not sticky. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured bench and shape it into a ball. 

Now cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rise at room temperature for 3 hours. ( We place ours in the warm laundry, where our hot water system happens to be, and close the door, and it sure did rise!)

2. Cut the dough into four triangular portions. Shape the dough into rounds and flatten each round on a well floured bench as though you are making pizza dough. We flattened ours out further with a floured rolling pin so that it was a larger and thinner flatbread and it was perfect.

3. To cook your flatbread, choose either the BBQ or a cast iron skillet. As Mr. HRK was cooking, he chose to use a pizza stone in the BBQ, which worked like a dream. Preheat the BBQ or stove to a medium-heat. Place one round of dough on the BBQ or skillet and bake until the brown spots on the bottom, about 1 minute. Flip the bread and bake for another minute. Remove the bread and wrap it up in a clean tea towel to keep warm. We separated them with baking paper like you do with pancakes in case they stuck together with humidity around, but it really wasn't necessary.

Puffing up on the plate, before it flattens out with a pocket inside.

Yoghurt Sauce ( makes the delicious difference with Kofta)

1 cup yoghurt

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper


Combine the ingredients, leave in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes for the flavours to infuse. (I left mine overnight which is preferable if you have the time.)

Lamb Kofta eaten with Lettuce Wraps or Turkish Flatbread

The beauty of making Koftas, is that I had most of the herbs and spices already in my spice drawer. I just needed to buy fresh mint and coriander, however at a pinch if time is at a premium, you could use all dried herbs and spices. 


(It's easy to just double this recipe if you are cooking for a crowd)

Olive oil for frying the kofta on the BBQ

400-500g lamb mince (ground)

1/2 onion, grated

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground coriander + (2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, optional)

1 tablespoon dried mint or 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons mild paprika

1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes if you like a bit of heat

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon salt

2 garlic cloves finely chopped 

8 large Cos (romaine) lettuce leaves or Turkish flatbread to serve


Use your hands to knead together the lamb mince and the spices, garlic, breadcrumbs,  lemon zest, mint and coriander until all well blended together (all the ingredients.) 

Divide into 8 portions and roll into football shaped ovals with your hands. Put them on a plate in the fridge and cover. This can be done the day before, or on the same day while you make the salad.

Ready for the BBQ Cook

Thread the koftas onto metal skewers or bamboo ones that have been pre-soaked in water to prevent burning. Heat the oiled BBQ plate (or your chargrill pan or frying pan) on high and add the koftas and cook 3-4 minutes. Don't move them until a crust develops, then turn over and cook each side. Remove from the heat.

Sizzling on the BBQ

Cover with foil, and rest for 5 minutes and then serve to your hungry family and guests.

To assemble the Turkish Flatbread,  place a spoonful or two of the yoghurt on the Turkish bread and spread over the bread, then add spoonfuls of the salads, then the kofta. Enclose the ends of the bread and roll to enclose. I'm sure your guests will know what to do anyway. 

To assemble the kofta in lettuce leaves, place a spoonful of yoghurt onto each lettuce leaf, add a spoonful of salad or tabbouleh, and top with a kofta. Fold the lettuce around the filling and eat.

Tabbouleh with Yoghurt Sauce and Lettuce Wraps

Tabbouleh recipe (from a previous post of mine):


1/2 cup rinsed quinoa (tri-colour for impact if you like), or wholemeal couscous
150 ml chicken stock for extra flavour, (just water will also work well)
1 Lebanese cucumber, deseeded and diced
3-4 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 1 cm dice (I used 4 Roma tomatoes)
3 spring onions, green ends only, finely chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, or about 1/2 bunch, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (not the stuff out of the bottle)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Add a crushed garlic clove if you like, but not necessary
*A large avocado cut into 1 cm dice can replace the cucumber


If using quinoa:- 
Place the stock in a small saucepan, add the quinoa and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender to taste. Remove from the heat,and stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and leave it to cool.

If using couscous:- Place the stock in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Place the couscous in a heatproof bowl and add the stock to the bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate or something plastic free (preferably), to store the heat, and stand for 5 minutes. Use a fork to fluff it up and to separate the grains. Season it slightly to your taste, and set it aside until cool.

Gather the bunch of parsley, form into a tight bundle in your hand and finely shred the leaves with a sharp knife.

Do the same thing with the mint leaves.

My coriander in our raised garden is still growing well, so a little bit of that went into the salad as well.

Add the cooled grain, quinoa or couscous to the rest of the ingredients, and mix through gently.

Making The Salad dressing:

In a smallish bowl, gradually whisk the olive oil into the lemon juice and garlic (if using) until it starts to thicken slightly and emulsifies. Stir the dressing through the tabbouleh ingredients and season with a little salt and ground black pepper if it needs it. A little salt will really develop the flavours.

On a nutritional note, eating salads like tabbouleh is a healthy alternative, as the herbs, parsley, and mint are rich in sources of Vitamin K and C, some beta-carotene, folate and flavonoids.  I feel better already.

Simple Turkish Salad:

1/2 an Iceberg lettuce

Two large ripe tomatoes

65 g or 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Handful of fresh herbs, preferably marjoram or oregano washed and chopped.

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

40 g chopped pistachios or toasted hazelnuts with skins removed 


Remove the outer leaves of an iceberg lettuce, pull off enough lettuce leaves to line your bowl when cut  fairly finely. 

Wash the leaves and dry. 

Shred them and place them loosely in the base of your bowl. Chop two large ripe tomatoes and place on top of the lettuce.

Add half the fresh herbs, then the cheese then the rest of the herbs.

Garnish with chopped nuts if you wish, such as chopped pistachios or chopped toasted hazelnuts with skins removed.

If you plan on serving your kofta with just lettuce wraps, a second salad such as Tabbouleh might be nice to eat off the plate. 

Mix the olive oil and lemon juice and lightly whisk to make the salad dressing. Put this in a glass jug and dress the salad just before serving or leave everyone to dress their own.

For our Turkish dessert, this  platter ticked all the boxes. P & J made the delicious Baklava with a lovely hint of orange, and the Turkish delight, the Halva, and the dried fruits were bought from a locally owned Fruit and Vegetable shop in Mackay called Mifsuds, which also doubles as the best Deli in town.

This was a wonderful finish to our Turkish meal.

Somehow during all of this Turkish mayhem, Mr. HRK found time to give our Locky a bath. He really does love his bath, even though he looks a bit sad here. I was hoping he would smile at me for the photo. Happy days!

It is our 44th Wedding Anniversary today, so we have some special things planned, and some delicious seafood on the menu to celebrate.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, hope you can plan to do something very enjoyable. Stay safe. 

Best wishes,


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Middle Eastern Lamb Siniyah a la` Yotam Ottolenghi

Rich and comforting, one pot stewed lamb with a tahini crust are the stars of this Middle Eastern version of Shepherds Pie. Who doesn't love a tasty Shepherds Pie? Well I promise you, this dish will exceed your expectations even further. Yotam Ottolenghi has created  a very clever recipe here, one of many in his book "Simple".  

Monday, April 19, 2021

Light and Cheesy Green Vegetable Coconut Soup

Vegetable lovers, this one is for you. This soup is a celebration of all the beautiful green produce coming into season right now.  I have made no compromises with this soup my friends, it is all vegetable based, using totally green produce, organic is preferable. Leek, broccoli, zucchini, celery, peas, baby spinach, garlic and fresh ginger are the basis of my soup this morning but any edible green vegetables you find lurking in your vegetable crisper, will  be perfect. Frozen green veg can be used as well. It's Meat Free Monday in our kitchen, and the perfect day for it. It's a wonderful time of the year to increase our intake of fruit and vegetables. With the weather cooling down even here in the tropics thank goodness, the markets and supermarkets are stocking a beautiful selection of fresh produce at reasonable prices.  Broccoli is $2.99 a kilo today, reasonably priced at last. Will it go lower in price, I hope so. The weekend is often the time when we spend time socialising with friends and family, consuming delicious food and enjoying a couple of drinks so let's give our bodies a chance to recharge on Monday and also help the environment by going meat free. Never has it been more important to keep healthy and boost our immune system, and that is our responsibility.

Oh I just realised, I probably can't call the garlic or the coconut oil green, however they are both produced organically, and the garlic I use is grown locally at nearby Eungella.

 Broccoli and zucchini are now recognised as being key vegetables for people suffering from high blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. Without going into too much detail about it, broccoli is a rich source of Chromium, a mineral which helps to improve insulin action in pre-diabetes and control blood glucose, an important factor for everyone these days I think. Never has it been more important to keep healthy and boost our immune system. Green vegetable soup is also quite creamy when pureed, thanks to the texture and structure of the versatile zucchini. This soup makes it so easy to include broccoli in your family's diet in a very appetising way, and to control our weight as well. However, for some variety and to be economical, try using up green leftovers and bits and pieces in your crisper by adding celery, beans, chives, eschallots, peas, spinach or silverbeet, a mix of herbs, or anything green and edible. I used 1 cup of frozen peas and beans in this soup which is so convenient.


1 leek, washed and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons organic coconut oil
6 cups roughly chopped green vegetables, which can include 2 zucchinis, 1 head of broccoli, celery, 1 cup frozen peas and 1 cup beans.  Use whatever you have. (However, it works best using zucchini and broccoli as a base for your other vegetables.)
2 handfuls of baby spinach roughly chopped, these cook right down (optional)
1-2 green chillis (optional)
1 litre vegetable stock (homemade is best if you have it or use stock cubes)
1 cup roughly chopped herbs, such as coriander, basil, oregano or flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 coriander roots finely chopped if you are using coriander as one of your herbs
Pinch of salt, ground black pepper for seasoning
Juice of ½ to 1 lemon (Test the taste after adding juice from ½ a lemon and add more if required.)
1 cup crumbled sharp cheddar such as parmesan

Recipe Notes: 
  • I love the flavour of leeks, however you can use onion.
  • Use butter, olive oil or ghee instead of coconut oil to fry the vegetables if that is what you prefer, and add some coconut milk at the end of the cooking time for a delicious coconut flavour.
  • Swap the green vegetables around using whatever you have on hand.
  • Use chicken stock instead of vegetable if that is all you have.
  • Use fresh rocket for some punch if you wish.
  • If you are vegetarian, add some cooked green lentils for extra protein in your diet.
  • Use up most of the green vegetable. Use the green stalk of the leek if still fresh, the leaves of the celery
  • Zucchini is a great vegetable to use as it makes the soup nice and creamy
  • Add some blue cheese at the end if you have some on hand (did I say blue, you'll be forgiven this time because it tastes great) but parmesan will be delicious

Sauté the leek and garlic in the coconut oil in a large saucepan for a superior flavour. (if you are really in a hurry omit this step and just add to the rest of the vegetables, it will still taste great). 

Add the green vegetables to the leek and garlic and stir for a minute, then pour in the stock and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the herbs, salt to your taste, and a few grinds of black pepper, and then the rocket if you are using it. 

I threw quite a mix of chopped herbs into my pot this time, basil, parsley, coriander and tarragon, however just use what you can find. Parsley as a minimum will work.

Simmer until all the vegetables are cooked and softened. Taste to check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed.

Turn off the heat and puree until smooth using a stick blender, or pulse in a normal upright blender when it has cooled slightly.

Whisk in the lemon juice and stir through the cheese, or omit the cheese and top with a dollop of low fat yoghurt or basil pesto. I like to garnish with lots of fresh green herbs such as parsley. There are so many healthy options to choose from.

You can also add some tasty blue cheese to the soup bowl. It will take the whole experience to a new level.

Have an enjoyable and safe week,

Best wishes,


Monday, April 12, 2021

In My Kitchen - April 2021

 Welcome to In My Kitchen for April, 2021. It's still school holidays here, not that this affects me much, as we're not travelling and don't have children or granchildren in town, however shopping centres and roads are a lot busier at this time of year, and thankfully the weather is cooling down. Here in North Queensland, we aren't blessed with such significant changes of season as the southern states or those of you living in the Northern Hemisphere, however here we love it when the days begin to shorten after Easter as Winter approaches and the the cooler weather is just hiding around the corner.  That's when the real cooking and dare I say it, exercise, ugh, begins.

I made this large loaf of high top sourdough bread last week, a nice change from the artisan cobs I've been experimenting with, and easier to eat as toast. Then with some of the leftover starter made a batch of sourdough blueberry muffins. I was really pleased with this bread loaf, which I proofed overnight and  was a combination of rye, spelt and wholemeal flours, and had a really nice texture. We sliced half of it and froze it, and have been eating the rest each day. 

This is a great muffin recipe to make when you have leftover sourdough starter after bread making. They freeze well, and then reheat beautifully for breakfast or morning tea. They have a distinct flavour and aren't too sweet if you are watching your sugar intake, especially after Easter. They take a while to proof and finish, but so does the bread so they can be synchronised easily with bread making.

Here's my muffin recipe:
Spelt Sourdough Blueberry Honey Muffins


 2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 cups bubbly sourdough starter
1 cup buttermilk or kefir
2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/2 cup honey
3/4 teaspoons sea salt
2 large beaten eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil (use melted butter if you wish)

3/4 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 3/4 cups fresh/frozen blueberries (I used frozen) or you can use chopped apple, almonds, cinnamon & nutmeg


Soak chia seeds in buttermilk for 15 minutes to soften until translucent .
7 to 12 hours before you want to bake the muffins,mix the flour, starter, and soaked chia, until just combined. Add a little water to moisten if necessary.
Cover and leave in a warm place to ferment. I left mine all day in a warm spot on the patio. However an overnight proofing along with the bread would be perfect.

When your dough has fermented and risen, preheat your oven to 220 deg. C.
Combine the honey, salt, beaten eggs, and melted coconut oil in a medium bowl. Beat until combined.
Sprinkle baking soda and baking powder (leavening agents) evenly over the fermented dough.

Start to fold in the leavening agents, and pour in 1/3 of the liquid mixture and any dried fruit or nuts if you are using them and fold until all combined. Repeat with the second 1/3 of the liquid.

Sprinkle the blueberries over the batter, and then finish kneading with the last 1/3 of the liquid mixture, until just combined.

The dough is a bit stretchier than a quick bread dough because of the fermentation process.

When all the ingredients are mixed in thoroughly, divide the batter into 12 greased muffin cups. You might even need up to 18 depending on how risen your dough is and the size of your muffin cups. I needed 14 just to be different.

Bake them in a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown and risen. Leave them to cool and then enjoy.

During most of the cooking Locky our Border Collie dog is never far from my side in the kitchen. He's just hoping that a titbit will miraculously fall from the bench onto the floor. It's been a tough week for Locky, as he hasn't been well with a serious ear infection and a couple of skin issues and had to have a General Anaesthetic to have his ear flushed out. He's been off colour for a few weeks poor darling. Blood tests showed that he has a low thyroid problem, typical of mature, large breed dogs. So now he is on medication for the rest of his life, but the condition isn't life threatening so we are very relieved. Mr. HRK has been looking after him very well, giving him tablets and ear drops, and keeping his ears clean. We are so relieved though that his condition wasn't caused by his dog food, as the vet said that was a possibility. So his large packets of Hills Science dog food will be eaten, Locky loves his tucker. This photo isn't Locky at his happiest, as he had only had his procedure the day before. He loves bread making days though just like I do, and is quite partial to little bits of uncooked dough and flour that land on the floor. He is a lot happier now, a few days later.

From my kitchen window, I can see my lovely orchids that are in flower at the moment. They bring me a lot of joy. This old water pitcher was my Mum's and has been repaired many times, but I still love it and it is a nice pot stand for this pretty Oncidium orchid.

LC Little Suzie x Chocolate Drop is like an old friend. She keeps flowering every year, and I now have a few pots of this one, all broken up from the original plant. She comes into my kitchen for special occasions, but she prefers to live on the patio where I can see her from the kitchen when I'm cooking. That's when she is flowering. Otherwise they all live in the orchid house.

Cattleya LC Little Suzie x Chocolate Drop

It's a lovely time of year for orchids, the cattleyas are flowering.

I am very excited though that my Tillandsias are also flowering this year, perhaps the heat has brought them on. These delicate purple flowers are quite fragrant, and the plant has been producing flowers for over a month now. They are growing quite happily in a hanging basket, although they are epiphytes and will also grow on trees.

My Cooktown orchid is also flowering nicely on the potted Fig tree.

Easter was time for a few treats, and we love these dark chocolate ginger balls from Buderim in Queensland. They also produce a lot of naked ginger in packets, a kind of crystallised ginger which is brilliant in cakes and biscuits. I often place a layer of it in the middle of my ginger syrup cake.

I bought Silvia Colloca's inspiring book before Easter, and my regular readers will have already seen the Chocolate Ganache cake I made from it for Easter and a friend's birthday. It was delicious.

Here's the cake.

You can find the recipe for my Chocolate Ganache cake here at this link.

I bought this new book about Posh Tarts for $3.00 today at a book sale, as if I need anymore cookery books, but I read them like novels. Mr. HRK spotted it on my desk, and I said we are going posh. Then he realised it was about cooking and seemed disappointed. Can't imagine why! Oh well, I'm sure I will get my money's worth. Looking forward to trying a few recipes from this one when it is cooler for pastry making.

Then there was a batch of vegetable stock to  appease the guilt after Easter.

On a sunny note, this yellow gerbera is quite the star of the show in my garden.

I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event, that was started by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial,  If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by 13th of the month.  Or just head over to her blog to read more In My Kitchens. 

I have just reached the deadline for this IMK. Hope you enjoy it. 

Warm wishes everyone,


Friday, April 9, 2021


In this recipe, humble celery takes centre stage. Normally it is used as a vegetable to flavour lots of other dishes such as soups, casseroles and stews, after all celery, onions, and carrots are the vegetable triumvirate or  Mirepoix in French cooking, used as the flavour base for so many dishes. This dish has quite subtle French style flavours,  and I used some stale sourdough to make my breadcrumbs in the food processor which made the crumb and parmesan topping so tasty and crunchy around the edges. However any breadcrumbs will do.

The idea for this recipe began when I was making chicken soup, on a cool rainy day (love those days here), and I realised I had a lot of celery in the refrigerator. So the celery took over, and I also started waging war on all the other vegetables lurking in my crisper. As a result, a pot of vegetable stock appeared using up all of the veges which were looking a little tired but still usable, and so I simmered the vegetable stock alongside the chicken soup for a couple of hours.  It's good time management to do it this way, as the same kind of veges went into the soup and the stock, and then at the end of the cooking time, I transferred some of the vegetable stock into the chicken soup to top it up. Delicious.

Meanwhile I was left with some nice crisp fresh celery, which I made into this delicious gratin. Who doesn't love a vegetable gratin? Celery is such an economical vegetable to buy, it only costs $2.00 for a whole head of it here, which is probably why I end up with so much of it, but it is very versatile and can be added to so many dishes.  I found this recipe in River Cottage Veg Everyday, another great recipe thanks Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Let's cook:


 1 head of celery

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs of thyme

25 g butter

100 ml thickened cream

75 g breadcrumbs

30 g very tasty cheese, such as Parmesan, Gruyere, or a hard goat's cheese, finely grated

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 160 deg. C/Gas Mark 3.

Break the celery into stalks. Set aside the outer stalks if they look a bit coarse or hollow which they probably are. They will be great to use in stock or soups. The secret to this recipe is to choose fresh crisp stalks, and to remove any noticeable strings from the the stalks you have chosen.

Remove all of the leaves from your chosen stalks and set them aside to use in stocks as well. 

Cut all the stalks into 10 cm lengths.

Put the celery into a shallow ovenproof dish and add the bay leaf and the thyme, tucking in around the stems.

Pour over 3 tablespoons of water, dot the butter over the stalks, and sprinkle with some salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cover the dish with alfoil and bake for about 40 minutes until the celery is tender.

Remove the dish from the oven and turn the oven temperature up to 200 deg. C/Gas Mark 6.

Discard the thyme and bay leaf, and carefully pour off the liquid from the celery dish into a jug.

To the celery liquid add enough cream to make up to 150 ml and whisk together.  Have a taste and add more salt and pepper if needed, then pour back over the celery into the dish.

Mix the grated cheese and the breadcrumbs together, sprinkle over the celery and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the crumb topping is crispy. 

Finish off by grinding over some black pepper and serve.

Yum, my mouth is watering as I type this up.

Sometimes I  also freeze celery and the leaves. It needs to be cut into usable sized pieces, then blanched, then quickly chilled in ice water, dried and frozen in zip lock bags.Great to use in stocks and soups.

Celery gratin is perfect to eat on meat free Monday with a lentil dish or even a frittata, if you follow that path,  however we enjoyed it as a side during the week with a simple chicken casserole.

Warm wishes,