Ingredient Spotlight: Celery

Cook, In Season, Ingredient Spotlight, Winter

Ingredient Spotlight: Celery

Most fridges are stocked with dependable celery, and countless recipes list it as an ingredient (think every stock and sauce that starts with a mirepoix). Still, the humble stalk doesn’t get enough celebration. It’s at its best in winter, so now is the time to breathe new life into a staple: shave celery into a crisp salad, or use the leaves as a garnish. Read on for more tips and ideas!

 

Look for: Buy tightly bunched celery with firm, crisp stalks, a pronounced light green color, and healthy-looking green leaves. Avoid any bunches that are limp, hollow or browned. Store whole bunches of celery in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

 

Prep tips: Separate ribs from the bunch only as needed. Wash them thoroughly and trim off both ends. New celery varieties tend to be more tender and do not require the removal of tough strings from the ribs. If you find strings, run a vegetable peeler down the length of the stalk to remove them. You can refresh limp celery ribs with a 30-minute soak in ice water. Here’s your toolkit:

 

Ingredient Spotlight: Celery

 

Uses: Enjoy celery fresh in salads or with savory dips. Chop and add to salads, stocks and soups, or braise the stalks gently as an appetizer or side dish. Use the leaves, much like parsley, as garnish on savory dishes.

 

Celery, Parsley & Prosciutto Salad

Celery, Parsley & Prosciutto Salad

 

6 stalks celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, preferably with a mandoline

4 green (spring) onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 cup (1 oz./30 g.) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g.) small fresh mint leaves

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, or to taste

6 thin slices prosciutto

Shaved hard sheep’s milk cheese, such as Pecorino romano

 

Put the celery, fennel, green onions, parsley and mint in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and the 2 tablespoons lemon juice and toss gently. Season with salt and more lemon juice, if desired. Place the prosciutto on a serving platter and top with the fennel mixture. Garnish with the shaved cheese and serve at once. Serves 6.

 

Source: Cooking from the Farmers’ Market

 

Jerusalem Artichoke Salad with Pomegranate & Celery

Jerusalem Artichoke Salad with Pomegranate & Celery

 

1/2 lb. Jerusalem artichokes

2 Tbs.plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 sprigs fresh thyme

Sea salt and ground pepper

1 pomegranate

2 celery stalks, inner leaves reserved

1 head radicchio, leaves separated

1 Tbs. Champagne vinegar

1/2 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese

 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

 

Peel Jerusalem artichokes and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place on a roasting pan, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, add thyme sprigs, season well with salt and pepper, and toss to coat with oil. Spread slices on roasting pan and roast, turning once, until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

 

Seed pomegranate, pat seeds dry, and set aside.

 

Using a mandoline, thinly slice celery stalks and place in a large bowl along with reserved leaves. Tear radicchio leaves in half and add to celery.

 

In a separate small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil and vinegar.

 

Add roasted Jerusalem artichokes to bowl with celery and radicchio and pour dressing on top. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Scatter ricotta salata and pomegranate seeds on top, and serve at once. Serves 4-6.

 

Source: Cooking for Friends

 

Celery & Herb Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs & Anchovy Vinaigrette

Celery & Herb Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs & Anchovy Vinaigrette

 

For the vinaigrette:

1 small shallot, chopped

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

Juice of 1 lemon

4 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil

 

1 head celery, leaves trimmed, ribs thinly sliced

1 bunch radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced

1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g.) coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh tarragon

2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh dill

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 eggs, hard-boiled and halved or quartered lengthwise

 

To make the vinaigrette, combine the shallot, mustard, lemon juice, anchovies, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a blender. Puree until smooth. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream and process until blended.

 

In a large bowl, combine the celery, radishes, parsley, tarragon and dill. Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Transfer to a platter and nestle the eggs in the salad. Using a spoon, top each egg with some of the vinaigrette, season with pepper, and serve, passing additional vinaigrette at the table. Serves 4.

 

Source: Vegetable of the Day

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