Cheesy Celery Bake

We enjoyed this crunchy winter vegetable casserole with ham steak and baked beans for a country meal.  This is a convenient choice for a make-ahead casserole that can bake at about the same temperature as the beans to make good use of your oven.  When celery is on sale, as it was this week, it makes it even more economical.              
Cheesy Celery Bake
  4    Cups  Celery -- thinly sliced (about 1# sliced or 1 bunch)
  6    Tablespoons  Butter -- melted, divided
  3    Tablespoons  Flour, All-purpose
  1    Teaspoon  Salt
  1    Cup  Milk
  4    Ounces  Canned Mushrooms -- drained
  2    Tablespoons  Green Pepper -- chopped
  2    Tablespoons  Pimiento -- chopped
  1    Cup  Cheddar Cheese -- shredded
  1    Cup  Bread Crumbs
Saut√© celery in 4 tablespoons butter about 5 minutes or until tender.  Remove celery and set aside.
Add flour and salt to butter in skillet, blending until smooth.  Gradually add milk; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
Add mushrooms, green pepper, pimiento, and cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.  Stir in celery.
Spoon into a lightly greased 10 x 6 x 1 1/2" baking dish.  Combine breadcrumbs and remaining 2 tablespoons butter; sprinkle over celery mixture.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
Six Servings
2011 Cost:  $3.18 or 53¢ per serving
"Southern Living Our Best Recipes 1978"
Per Serving: 306 Calories; 20g Fat (58.7% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 56mg Cholesterol; 915mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 3 1/2 Fat.

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