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Thursday 21 November 2013

Sluttishly Savoury: Purple Celery Canapés

The fifth Doctor, Peter Davidson used to wear a stick of celery on his lapel.
No, Peter. Don't listen to what people say. Wearing celery is cool.
While this kind of odd behaviour is a given as far as The Doctor is concerned, it actually had a purpose. When he came in contact with poisonous gases, the celery would turn purple and The Doctor would eat it. When asked if that helped, his reply was, “it can’t hurt.” Well, if it’s good enough for The Doctor, it’s good enough for us.

Back in the real world, I've found the best way to turn celery purple is to use the natural boat shape of the celery and to fill that with jelly. Obviously.

Waldorf salad is a suitably retro combination of flavours and, since we’re celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who, we approve of retro. Other equally wonderful combinations would be beetroot jelly with creamy Stilton and walnuts or V8 vegetable juice jelly with a spicy tomato chutney.
Purple Celery Canapés (makes 18-24 canapés) You’ll need:
  • 6-8 stalks of celery 
  • a little flour and water mixed into a dough 
  • 250ml red grape juice 
  • 1 sheet of gelatine 
  • 1 smallish red apple, finely diced 
  • 3 tbsp chopped walnuts 
  • 1 heaped tbsp mayonnaise 
  • a few leaves of celery
Make it!
  1. Cut off the leafy tops and wide bottom parts of the celery sticks. Run a knife or vegetable peeler down the curved back of each celery stalk to make a flat base. 
  2. Use little blobs of dough to plug either end of the celery stick, to make the little valley watertight. 
  3. Heat the grape juice in a sauce pan. 
  4. While the juice is coming to a simmer, soak the gelatine sheet in cold water. 
  5. When the gelatine has softened and the juice comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and squeeze any excess water out the gelatine before adding to the juice. Stir until it’s all dissolved and leave to cool to room temperature. 
  6. When the juice is cool, pour it into the little valleys of each celery stick and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set. 
  7. When the jelly has set, carefully remove them from the fridge and chop off the doughy end parts. Slice the celery into 5cm-ish lengths. 
  8. Mix the diced apple, chopped celery and mayonnaise together and spoon little dollops over half of each celery boat. 
  9. Garnish with a celery leaf and serve immediately.

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