Braised Celery with Tomatoes, Chickpeas & Bacon
Recipe type: Dinner, Main, Side
Cuisine: Italian, Winter
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Serve the braised celery as a side dish or, as I do, over a bowl of polenta as a satisfying main course.
  • 1 head Celery
  • about 3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 strips Thick-cut Bacon, cut crosswise in ¼ in.-wide pieces
  • 1 16 oz. can Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 oz can Italian Plum Tomatoes, crushed
  1. Separate the celery stalks. Remove the leaves and reserve for another use (a batch of stock, perhaps?) along with the really pale, small inner stalks. Using a vegetable peeler, peel away the outer layer of each stalk of celery, removing the tough strings. Cut each stalk, on the diagonal, into 3 in. pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or wide skillet. Add the onion and sauté until wilted and slightly golden, 4-5 minutes. Add the bacon and cook until it loses its pale, raw appearance, 2-3 minutes. Add the celery, chickpeas, crushed tomatoes, and ½ c. water. Season with a couple of pinches of salt, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Cover the pot and simmer until the celery is almost thoroughly tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover, taste and adjust seasoning if needed, and continue to simmer until the celery is completely tender and the liquid has nearly cooked off, about another 15 minutes.
Recipe by strawberryplum at