Its crunchy texture makes celery a favorite
for eating raw, but celery's sweet side is best emphasized when cooked.
Used as part of an aromatic base, celery lends a sweet, herbal flavor to
soups, sauces and stews. On its own, celery makes luscious braises and
Choosing celery - Look for firm ribs
with a bright green color. Rubbery ribs and yellow or brown leaves
indicate that celery is past its prime.
Storing - Wrap loosely in plastic and
refrigerate. Celery will start to go limp after just 2 or 3 days, so use
it soon after you have purchased it. To help celery last for up to 10
days, wrap it in aluminum foil.
To remove the strings - Peel away the
tough, fibrous strings with a vegetable peeler. They don't become tender
when cooked. Another method is snapping off the narrow end of the celery
stalk from its concave side using your fingers, leaving the strings
intact. Slowly pull the strings down the length of the stalk until they
naturally detach at the wide end.
To keep celery sticks crisp - Stack
upright in a tall glass in a couple of inches of ice water.
To revive limp celery - Trim 1/8"
from the base of the stalk base and place the stalk in a glass of ice
water in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
To chop a large amount quickly - Keep
the whole stalk intact and slice across the entire bunch of celery ribs,
starting just below the leafy tops. Transfer the chopped portion to a
colander to pick out any chopped leaves and rinse clean.
To slice quickly - Use an egg slicer,
Trim the celery tops and bottoms. Open the slicer, and with the slicing
wires upright, guide each rib of celery lengthwise through the wires.
To julienne - Proceed as directed
above for slicing, then rotate the sliced lengths one-quarter turn and
pass lengthwise through the slicing wires again. Cut the resulting strips
crosswise into 2" lengths.