When Boston’s Beacon Street families gathered on Thanksgiving back in the 1950s, just before the golden bird arrived, raw celery on a slender, oval platter was passed to each person who placed pieces on their bread and butter plate. The whole celery stalks were finger food, and before each bite, guests dipped their celery end into tiny, individual, Sandwich, Cape Cod, cut-glass dishes containing table salt for better munching.
Today, we’d be at a loss to find a Bloody Mary without a decorative celery stalk for muddling or a side of it with our Buffalo Wings and Blue Cheese.
Celery is mild making it versatile, and it appears in very many dishes almost everywhere. Celery is related to carrots, parsley, caraway and fennel. The most common variety of celery is Pascal, a pale-green, whitish veggie. It’s leaves can be yellow-greenish and are good in soups and stocks. Their stalk of the celery has the most uses. Hearts of celery are the small celery configuration found in the center of a mature bunch of celery, and celery seeds are a spice used in pickling. Its root, celeriac, is also edible. Celery stalks can be eaten raw, steamed, braised, boiled or baked.
Celery was originally used only for its seeming medicinal benefits, also as horse food. In true early food tradition, the Egyptians and Greeks practically worshiped celery, and it became holy and at times “bling” for their era.
Celery is rich in vitamin C, K and B12, thiamin and folate.
Choose straight, stalks topped with vibrant leaves arranged in a large bundle. Keep bunch in tact, removing only stalks you plan to use. Store unused celery in a plastic bag and place in crisper drawer.
SERVING SUGGESIONS AND GO-WITHS
- Braised celery with cider
- Cream of Celery Soup
- Green salad
- Holy Trinity of celery, onions and peppers
- Peanut butter
- Red beans and rice
- Sandwich salads
- Stir fry/soup base
- Stuffed with cheese spread
- Turkey dressing
- Waldorf Salad
Below are foodsites with celery recipes.