Put cider vinegar, shallot, bay leaves, spices and 5 oz water in stainless-stell saucepan along with a good pinch of salt. Bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes or so to give aromatics time to flavor liquid.
Drop celery into pickling liquid and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until celery is heated through but still crunchy. While celery is poaching, crush olives to flatten them down to the pit (do not remove pit); drop squashed olives in with celery for last minute of cooking.
Pour pan's contens thru sieve set over bowl (discard pickling liquid or use once again) and leave to drainand cool. Refrigerate until you want to serve. Place celery in bowl, splash with olive oil, salt & pepper - serve.
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