Braised Fenland Celery with Celery & Hazelnut Pesto

For the celery braise
What you'll need

1 head Fenland celery, all leaves removed for the pesto
1 tsp unsalted butter
1 pinch salt
1 shallot, peeled & sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled & sliced
300 ml vegetable stock
1 lemon, for the juice

For the celery pesto
What you'll need

All of the leaves from the head of celery
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed to a paste
1 pinch salt
cayenne pepper
½ lemon, just the juice
3tbsp roasted peeled hazelnuts
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
For the Celery Braise
What to do:

1: Wash the celery well. Trim both ends of the head then cut in half through the root

2 : Place the celery into a large heavy-based pan, cut side down, with the butter and a pinch of salt.

3: Gently sweat over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the celery is slightly softened.

4: Add the shallot and garlic. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.

5: Pour in the stock and, a good squeeze of lemon juice, bring to a simmer.

6: Cook for 15-20 minutes over a low heat or until the celery is soft and tender. Keep warm.
For the Celery Pesto
What to do:

1: Place the celery and parsley leaves in a food processor, add the garlic, a good pinch of salt, cayenne, lemon juice and hazelnuts.

2 : Blitz - dribbling in the rapeseed oil until a pesto consistency is achieved, let down with more oil if necessary.

3: Check the seasoning and add more salt, cayenne and lemon to taste.
To serve
Carefully lift the braised celery from the pan. Place on a serving platter with the cut side facing upwards. Spoon over the pesto and serve.

Goes great with a roast chicken and can be enjoyed cold!