Consider celery: It is both completely necessary and utterly useless.
It is the one ingredient you’re guaranteed to find at any grocery store in America. What are we doing with ALL that celery?
Outside of its lowest and worst use as a raw veggie for snacking, most people know it as a garnish for Bloody Mary or a vehicle for peanut butter and raisins. I understand the nostalgia, but cucumbers are a far superior pairing with peanut butter, and even a great “ants on a log” is still as boring as church.
Pre-Covid it enjoyed a brief but intense moment in the spotlight when people began juicing celery, convinced (by the Kardashians, I think?) it held potent health benefits. I fell victim to the trend, too.
I would wager most cooks keep celery on hand for a mirepoix - the aromatic base of carrot, onion and celery. When slowly sautéed in oil or butter, this trio becomes an essential building block for countless recipes in the Western world, a foundation for countless soups, stocks, and sauces.
Outside of mirepoix, the list for uses grows short. I imagine most folks have a bag of wilting, limp celery in their fridge RIGHT NOW. And that’s a damn shame, because this misunderstood creature is begging to be liberated from the depths of your fridge. It is the perfect vessel for countless flavors - a salty, snappy little minx that begs for more time at the table.
Today I wanted to offer up two delicious, simple ways to put celery to use in your kitchen. These recipes and techniques are inspired by or borrowed from a couple of my favorite restaurants. I hope you enjoy:
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