Lent begins on February 13th and goes through March 30th this year.  This season is often when people begin searching for a new meatless recipe to add to their menu.  Whether you are giving up meat for Lent or simply to reduce your ecological footprint, this delicious meatless recipe for Creamy Celery Au Gratin is one of my favorites.

The word gratin is used to refer to any dish that is topped with a browned crust of breadcrumbs or melted cheese.  In this recipe, I use cheddar cheese and Panko breadcrumbs. However, you can use any type of grated cheese you have on hand.  I often make my own breadcrumbs when I don’t have Panko breadcrumbs on hand.

Creamy Celery Au Gratin

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 large stalks of celery, trimmed and sliced in 1/2 pieces
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar or other hard cheese
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadrumbs
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Creamy Celery Gratin Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Peel the celery and cut it into 1/2 in pieces.
  3. Mix the celery, 1/2 a cup of the cheese, salt and pepper, and skim milk in a bowl.
  4. Pour it into a ramekin or single serving size casserole dish.
  5. Cover it tightly with tin foil & place on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until the celery is soft.
  7. Mix the remaining cheese, the Panko breadcrumbs and the olive oil together.
  8. Remove the ramekin or dish from the oven and take off the tin foil
  9. Sprinkle the cheese, breadcrumb and olive oil mixture over the top.
  10. Return it it to oven and bake for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  11. Let it sit for a few minutes before you eat it.

If you are serving this Creamy Celery Gratin as a side dish to serve with fish, bake each portion in a ramekin.  If you will be enjoying this delicious meatless recipe as a main course, bake it in a single serving size casserole dish for a larger portion.

What are your favorite meatless recipes?