has been said that to have nothing is to have carrots. And it could easily be added that to have nothing is to have celery—a whole, limping head of it fading in the refrigerator, abandoned post-soffrito. But celery is an herbaceous, crunchy, vibrantly green asset to your fridge arsenal. Here are a few ideas for how not to lose your head:
One head of celery, one million possibilities.
Photo by James Ransom
Shave the head up with apples or fennel (or both!) for
a delicate, aromatic salad even in the dead of winter. Highlight it in a
risotto that uses both the stalks and the leaves. Braise it into something you barely recognize by
braising it (and adding pancetta). Or smooth out its edges in a creamy, buttery
celery soup. Douse it in a smooth fennel sauce and bake for an
unexpected gratin. Use the leaves in an
updated chicken salad, with grapes, of course. Let it bring crunchiness to an
all-season tabouli. For the truest of celery lovers, purée it into a juice and turn it into a
granita. Or simply add a stalk or two to your morning green juice for a bright-green note.
A celery-scented simple syrup makes a base for a quick, spicy
soda. You likely don't
need an excuse to make up a batch Bloody Marys, but if you do—well, a celery stick is the ideal garnish. ( Pickled stalks are a good option, too.) And no shame for classic ants-on-a-log, either. It might be the perfect (if not the quietest) cure for the hangries.
What are your best celery-finishing strategies? Share them in the comments.