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Surprising Uses For Celery

Ever use celery as the main ingredient in your recipe? Learn a bit more about this overlooked, healthy vegetable.

It’s so common we almost don’t notice it in the produce aisle, or if we do, it’s probably to chop up into a plain tuna salad, toss into chicken soup, dice with breadcrumbs for a holiday stuffing, or use to cradle a swath of creamy peanut butter. If you live in Louisiana, you might use celery along with onions and bell peppers to prepare the famed “holy trinity,” and some relish it with carrots and onions for a French mirepoix — found in soups and sauces. But for most of us, lowly celery seems to play a supporting role at best in our cultural cuisine.

The fact is celery has recognized anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, flavanoids, vitamins A, K and C. It comes alive when combined with stock and seasonings and braised, marinated, grilled, as soup practically on its own (just add cream!), in pesto and so much more. Love potatoes? Mashed or pureed celery root is a tasty low calorie, low carb substitute that just may surprise you. What’s more, the leaves we all tend to throw away are also flavorful (some say much more than the stalk) and can enhance almost any soup or stew — and are sometimes used as a dried herb.

Prior to the 19th century, celery was grown for use in winter and early spring, regarded as a cleansing tonic to counter the “salt sickness” of a winter diet fraught with preserved fish and meats. Its seeds (actually tiny fruits), while used as a seasoning, also produce an oil germane to the pharmaceutical and perfume industries. In 30 A.D., Roman encyclopaedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus noted celery seed used in pills for pain relief, and the seeds also contain a compound known in the lab to help lower blood pressure in rats.

In contemporary England, one might find a pint of Guinness garnished with a celery stalk, known as the Chelsea Cocktail, just as Americans use it to flag a Bloody Mary. But in a more starring role, celery can be upgraded and decorated to complement almost any savory dish — even standing on its own with a little cream and Sherry to make a rib-sticking cold weather soup.

Try these recipes that elevate celery to a leading culinary role!

Celeriac - Vegetable

Braised Celery

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 8 celery stalks, rinsed and trimmed, leaves chopped and reserved
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter Pinch kosher salt Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good quality beef stock or broth

Instructions
 

  • Directions:
    Peel any of the fibrous outer stalks of celery with a vegetable peeler and slice into 1-inch pieces on the bias.  Heat butter in a 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Once melted, add celery, salt, and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until just beginning to soften slightly. Add beef broth and stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until celery is tender but not mushy, approximately 5 minutes. Uncover and allow celery to continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the liquid has been reduced to a glaze. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with reserved leaves.
Keyword braised celery and carrots, braised celery recipe
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Cream of Celery Soup

Course Soup
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter – divided in half
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup dry Sherry – optional Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Directions:
    In a large pot, saute chopped celery and onions in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat until onions are translucent and celery is soft. Puree mixture in food processor or blender until they are at desired consistency (you may prefer your soup textured or more creamy). Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan and add 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook the flour paste for at least one minute. Add pureed vegetables to flour paste, and then begin to add chicken stock to the pot.
    Turn up heat to a medium-high heat. When the soup begins to bubble, reduce heat; add sherry and heavy cream. Stir to incorporate well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Keyword cream of celery soup recipe, pioneer woman cream of celery soup
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Mashed Celery Root

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds celery root.
  • ½ cup milk or cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter Salt to taste Chopped celery root leaves as garnish

Instructions
 

  • Directions:
    Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer (1 tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water) while you peel the celery root with a knife. Cut into 1-inch pieces and boil for 25-30 minutes, until soft.
    Drain celery root, returning it to the pot on low heat. Allow to steam for a minute or two, shaking the pan a bit to prevent sticking.
    Add milk or cream, butter, and a generous pinch of salt. Mash with a potato masher until it is as smooth as you like it. Add salt to taste and garnish with the celery root leaves, if desired.
Keyword celery root nutrition, celery root nutrition 100g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

And for those of you who want to try celery root, also known as celeriac, here’s another recipe.

Beth Herman is a freelance writer with interests in healthy living and food, family, animal welfare, architecture and design, religion, and yoga. She writes for a variety of national and regional publications, institutions, and websites.

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Judy

The best way to store celery in the refrigerator is to slice a little bit off both ends of the stalk when you purchase it and then wrap in aluminum foil. The heavy-duty kind holds up well. It can lasts for weeks but not in our kitchen!

Susan Koda

Celery is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in the garden and it taste so much better than the supermarket variety. One can cut the amount needed for any meal, leaving the rest in the ground. It lasted well over the summer and into fall.

Valerie Ruma

There is a Persian dish called khoresht e karafs that is a main course with chicken, braised celery, herbs and lime juice with saffron. It’s a delicious stew served over rice.

rhonda

You can also regrow your celery. The bottom will re-root and you can plant it and grow your own!

Missey

in response to “B’s” question: Celery keeps well if you wrap it in a damp paper towel, or trim the ends and place in a small container of water while standing upright. Change the water every couple of days and it will last for a while. Hope that helps.

B

ate there any tricks to keeping celery crisp for more than a couple days? I like having it around as a snack but usually end up throwing it away because it doesn’t store well. Thanks!

MMSands

Braised celery is wonderful. I used to make it all the time — it is a great accompaniment for chicken or fish. And nothing beats a nice Cream of Celery soup …

Nancy

Try Celery and mushrooms boiled in beef boullion. Almost zero calories.

Marguerite

Instead of peanut butter, which i like, you may want to try almond butter. It is healthier. Also try European celery, grated and make a salade with yogurt.

Linda Redmond Morris.

Sounds wonderful! I will be trying this recipe today…Thank you .

Jeanette Clark

My two children grew up eating celery ‘stuffed’ with peanut butter (carrots the same way)..the main thing was to remove the larger ‘strings’ on the outside when they were real young. We still love both the celery and carrots that way…just like most people do cheese in the center. It may sound weird but is a really healthy snack and a good way to get the kiddos to eat veggies.

david evans

i love it with just a lil salt

CECILIA

I MAKE A CELERY SALAD,CUT THE CELERY CIRCA A INCH LONG ,AND I PUT EVO SALT E BLACK PEPPER AND A TBSP OF WATER,BUONISSIMO♥♥

Armando Hernandez

I cook celery in many ways all the time,I will try this recipe too.

dongirndt

interesting,,I’ll have to try out the recipes,..

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