Make Celery Feel Like An Exciting Snack With A Snappy Salt Cure

For zero waste cooks, celery poses an annoying shopping quandary. Let's say you want to make a big old pot of chicken noodle soup to clear out a head cold, and the recipe calls for a measly two or three stalks of celery. In order to make it, you'll still probably have to buy an entire head of celery from the grocery store, and you'd be laughed out of your local farmer's market if you ever tried to order two stalks of celery on their own.

Celery is a beloved and essential component of the Cajun "holy trinity" (onions, bell peppers, and celery), as well as the French mirepoix (onions, carrots, and celery), which form the base of many soups, stews, and gumbos. But it doesn't have as many practical applications on its own. (Aside from "ants on a log," which don't get much action outside the preschool lunch room.)

However, there are a few savvy cooks out there figuring out creative uses for celery that go beyond veggie broth and peanut-butter snacks. And there is one hack in particular that will both help preserve your celery for longer, and give it a flavorful edge that will make you eager to toss it in everything you make for the next week.

Salt cure your celery

So how exactly do you get rid of a whole bunch of celery? By salt-curing it. According to Food & Wine, all you have to do to make salt-cured celery is dissolve one part salt in ten parts water, then add the celery to the brine, keeping the container in the fridge; in just 15 minutes or so, the veggie stalks will turn into something crisp, salty, and delicious.

"I wouldn't store it more than a week or two, but technically they could probably last longer," explains Kristen York, the chef de cuisine at Seaworthy in New Orleans, to Food & Wine. "I prefer the 'snap' though [of quick-pickled celery]."

These quick pickled celery stalks would make a stellar addition to anything needing a salty crunch — from chicken salad to Vietnamese spring rolls. Use them in the same way you would pickled radishes or pickled red onions.