Raspberry vinegar contributes complementary flavor tones and paprika adds a faint pink blush to the creamy dressing that accompanies this chilled braised celery.
2 bunches celery hearts
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf, broken in half
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
1. Generously butter a wide, flameproof casserole dish. Trim the bottoms of the celery and remove any coarse outer ribs, but leave the bunches intact. Cut off the leafy ends so that each bunch measures 6 inches long. Cut each bunch in half lengthwise and transfer, cut side down, to the prepared baking dish.
2. Add the celery leaves and trimmings to the dish. Pour on the chicken broth and add as much water as necessary to cover the celery. Add the salt, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf to the liquid. Cover and cook at a gentle bubble for 10 to 12 minutes or until the celery is crisp-tender. Lift out with a perforated spatula and arrange on a flat serving plate. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill.
3. In a small bowl, blend together the vinegar and paprika. Whisk in the oil until well combined. Whisk in the cream. Pour the dressing around the celery and sprinkle the chopped parsley across the center of the ribs.