Celery au Gratin

Celery au Gratin

A hundred years ago celery was often served as a cooked vegetable, so I decided to make a recipe  for Celery au Gratin that I found in a 1922 cookbook.

The Celery au Gratin was tasty with pieces of celery embedded in a delightful cheese sauce.

Here is the original recipe:

recipe for Celery au Gratin
Mrs. DeGraf’s Cook Book (1922)

I used butter instead of shortening when making the sauce for this recipe.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Celery as Gratin

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

2 cups celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter + 1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons flour

dash salt and pepper

3/4 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar.)

1/2 cup fine soft bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375° F. Put celery pieces, water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil using high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until the celery is tender (about 10 minutes). Then remove from heat, and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid to use in the sauce. Set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in another saucepan, then stir in flour and dashes of salt and pepper. Gradually, add the milk and reserved celery liquid while stirring constantly; Continue heating and stirring using medium heat until the sauce thickens.

Put half the cooked celery in a 3-cup casserole dish; add 1/2 of the sauce, then top with  1/2 of the grated cheese. Repeat in same order. Set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan.  Add the breadcrumbs and stir. Continue stirring until the breadcrumbs are crispy and light brown.

Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs on top of the layered celery. Put in oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


18 thoughts on “Celery au Gratin

  1. Perfect timing. Yesterday I got my first box from Misfits Market and celery was in the box. Yea…I will bake this today. I know celery is good for us but seldom use it.

    1. Good to hear that the timing was good for this post. Misfits Market is such a fun name for the vegetable boxes that you get.

    1. I think you’re right. In hundred-year-old cookbooks there are numerous au gratin recipes (and well as many recipes for creamed vegetables).

  2. I wonder if folks back then did a lot of creamed vegetables. Grandma did a similar thing with her sweet peas. It was very good,this looks good as well.

    1. Based on what is in old cookbooks, I think that creamed vegetables were very popular a hundred years ago. They are tasty.

  3. I have munched celery sticks and dipped them in hummus for years, but never thought to make something like a gratin with them – but what a revelation a dish like this is. It is so tasty and I have think it will be great as a vegetable accompaniment during the summer with the punchy taste of the celery.

  4. The local Amish and Mennonite communities here in Central PA do creamed celery as part of their fundraising “wedding style” dinners on a regular basis. It is quite good, I am actually wondering if I would like the cheese part – and I love cheese!

    1. If you like creamed celery and you like cheese, I think that you’d enjoy this dish. The cheese was the predominant flavor when I made this dish – which surprised me a little – but I liked it.

      1. Yes! Reading recipes is a nice hobby. When I was growing up, we had a neighbor who went to bed quite early to read cookbooks. She laughed at herself, but she was a super cook.

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