Why You Should Start Giving Celery The Respect It Deserves

Celery isn't just for crudité. Here at Tasting Table, we're firm believers that the long, green stalks have so much more to offer. A garden staple since antiquity, celery has a multitude of health benefits in addition to unique culinary properties. While some might argue that the vegetable lacks pizzazz, that couldn't be further from the truth. It's time to rethink your stance on celery and give it the respect it deserves.

Despite its high water content, celery is packed with nutrients. Aside from being a source of vitamin A, C, and K, Healthline states that the stalks have an abundance of phytonutrients with antioxidant-like qualities that can reduce inflammation. Celery is also a low-calorie snack that's loaded with fiber. From seeds to stalks to leaves, every part of the vegetable can be eaten. Convinced you should pick some up during your next grocery run? This is what to look out for when buying.

Vibrant green stalks that are firm and packed tightly are good signs that celery is fresh, notes Market Basket Foods. Similar to other vegetables, any brown spots or discoloration should be avoided. When it comes to storage, stalks should be snugly wrapped in aluminum foil and kept in the crisper drawer of the fridge — doing this will let the ethylene gas emitted by the veggies be released rather than trapped, extending shelf life from days to weeks. 

As for what to do with that bunch of celery, we've got you covered.

Celery can be used as a building block for your next recipe

According to NPR, the use of celery in cuisine probably gained traction in 17th century Europe as a means of making meals heartier. While some might argue that celery tastes fairly neutral, which is why it may have been used as a "filler" in recipes, others (like us) claim that the vegetable's unique profile can amplify flavor.

Slightly bitter when raw, yet mildly sweet when cooked, celery has a grassy and fresh earthiness. Far from bland, it's for this reason that the delicately flavorsome stalks are so foundational in the kitchen. As one of the main components of a mirepoix, Taste shares that the aromatic vegetable balances, but also gives depth to recipes like stock, stew, stuffing, pilaf, casserole, or even a bolognese ragù.

Additionally, chef and restaurateur Jamie Bissonnette praises the underrated vegetable for its incredible crunch (via Vogue). Capable of adding textural variety, the juicy stalks can be the star of a salad or supporting ingredient in lobster roll filling or chicken salad sandwiches. But, let's not forget that celery can also be baked as a gratin or puréed into a cream, illustrating that it can also impart a velvety quality if need be. Of course, if all else fails, it can even works wonders in a fresh, Cel-Rey Collins.

Believe us when we say that celery is deserving of respect!