Celery: All About This Versatile Gem

Posted by Boston Organics on Jul 11, 2023 9:59:36 AM

Celery (Apium graveolens) is a marshland plant in the family Apiaceae, which also include, carrots, parsley and fennel. It has been cultivated as a vegetable since antiquity. Celery has a long fibrous stalk tapering into leaves. Depending on location and cultivar, either its stalks, leaves or hypocotyl (think celery root) are eaten and used in cooking. Celery seed powder is used as a seasoning and is particularly good with coleslaws and sprinkled lightly on macaroni and cheese.

Storage: celery is best stored in the refrigerator. Wrap it in a damp paper towel and then cover with foil. Keeping it in a plastic bag will hasten deterioration from the ethylene that it emits


Celery stalks are commonly used as crispy counterpoint in salads, like Chicken Salad, Mock "Tuna" Salad and leafy green salads. It's a great hand-held vehicle for dips and other fillings like grown up Blue Cheese and Pecans with Cranberries or kid friendly 'Ants on a Log" with peanut butter and raisins. Or to add depth of flavor to soups or stews, for example in the French flavoring base mirepoix of onions, carrots and celery and the "holy trinity" of onions, bell peppers and celery found in Cajun and Creole recipes like gumbo.




Celeriac or celery root  is one of the more homely vegetables. But what it lacks in looks in makes up for in deliciousness! You can use celeriac in almost any recipe that calls for root vegetables. The fall is the best time of year for celery root and it's earthy flavor shines in Jamie Oliver's Smashed Celeriac, like mashed potatoes but even better!



CeleryCelery Leaves are often tough of as something to be discarded, if the celery even has its outer leaves intact. We might add the tender light green leaves to a potato or green salad. But did you know the bountiful dark green leaves that we receive from our friends at Kitchen Garden Farm have lots to offer on their own?!? Celery leaves are nutritious (low in fat and calories and contain calcium, magnesium and potassium), delicious and full of celery's distinct slightly sweet and herbal flavor. Prepare them the way you would any herb - soak in a water bath to remove sand and dirt, spin in a salad spinner to dry then chop as desired or leave whole to use in the following ways:

  1. Substitute for parsley in tabbouleh, as a garnish or in any salad.
  2. Add to risotto or beans.
  3. Make Celery Leaf Pesto to serve over pasta, as a spread in sandwiches, dolloped into soups, over roasted or grilled vegetables, with fish or chicken.
  4. Add to stir fries towards the end of cooking.


And lastly, what to do with the base of your celery stalks? Go zero waste - chop them up, soak in water to remove and dirt and use them along with your other kitchen scraps when making stock. 

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