The One Vegetable You Can't Get Enough of Thanks to This Popular Cookbook

July 20, 2018

Certain vegetables get all of the glory when they come in season—like ramps and fiddleheads, the darlings of springtime, or summertime favorites, farm-fresh corn and tomatoes. Other vegetables never seem to get their turn in the spotlight.

Until now. Celery's getting a little star treatment thanks to Joshua McFadden's award-winning cookbook, Six Seasons and our Cookbook Club members who are cooking through it. McFadden has a number of celery dishes (from soup to gratin and more) that the Club loves, but his celery salads have been the runaway favorites. Their rave reviews just might convince you to rescue the ribs languishing in the back of your crisper drawer:

Photo by John William Barton‎
  • John W. B.: The celery salad is perfectly balanced. Sweetness from dates and almonds, saltiness from the cheese, and earthiness from the celery. I enjoyed this a lot!

  • Sandra H. S.: Between this cucumber-celery-apricot salad, the celery-apple-peanut salad, and the celery soup recipe from this book we've had more celery within a few days than probably ever in our lives!

  • Tracey L.: I wasn't super excited about a celery salad....but this was wicked good!!! Highly recommend!

  • Leah S.: So many interesting and delicious salads in this book. Never would have thought to make a salad based on celery before. Delicious!

Photo by Alexandra Lafond‎
Photo by Catherine M Cozzarelli‎
  • Abbie A: Joining team celery salad! It has it all! Sweet, salt, tart, crunchy, nutty.

  • Cindi R.: Everyone will enjoy this salad, even celery-dislikers—if that's a word.

  • Anastasia B.: Quote from my teenage daughter, "I don't even like celery, but I like this salad!"

more green goodness

Photo by Linda DeNoyer‎
Photo by Bebe Black Carminito‎
  • Linda D: The toasted bread crumbs make this dish! Mikey brought home cheap (i.e. gummy) olive bread. But when this stuff was torn into croutons and toasted with olive oil—toasted to the still-chewy stage—and added to the dressed celery—WOW! My new favorite way to eat celery.

  • Bebe B. C.: This Salad is so delicious, fresh, crunchy, tangy, sweet and zesty! So many flavors going on at once and perfect for a light meal…I highly recommend this one!

  • Janice A.: Another awesome dish from Six Seasons. I’ve always loved vegetables but because of his book I have expanded my palate, appreciate raw vegetables and am constantly amazed that just a few ingredients provide huge and complex tastes and textures. This salad is bright tasting, light, and healthy. Just plain delicious!

Craving a celery salad by now? Us, too. Here are a few to get you going:

Tell us: What vegetable is seriously underrated and in need of a good PR campaign?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • btglenn
  • Jay Rudy
    Jay Rudy
  • Binnie Syril Braunstein
    Binnie Syril Braunstein
  • Ttrockwood
  • Jennifer
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


btglenn August 10, 2018
Celery makes a great creamed soup... especially when you add celery root to the mix. I start by sautéing a few chopped scallions in butter. Then I add chopped celery and celery root along with a diced medium sized Yukon potato, chopped parsley and cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. When they are all lightly coated with the butter and well mixed I add a cup or two chicken broth and cook until the ingredients are tender. Add some milker cream and puree in a blender. Serve either hot or cold –– both are delicious.
Jay R. July 26, 2018
This reminds me of the celery episode on Portlandia
Binnie S. July 21, 2018
Does anyone have a recipe for celery pancakes? My mother used to make them. And she used stalk celery, not celeriac or celery root.
Lindsay-Jean H. July 23, 2018
I'm so intrigued! Were they more vegetable fritter or more pancake? What were they served with?
Binnie S. July 23, 2018
The celery pancakes were made before the days of the food processor. My mother would boil the celery in a pot, then drai it and chop it in a wooden chopping bowl with a hockmesser (curved blade with a handle. She then added an egg or two, salt and white pepper, and matzoh meal. She formed them into patties about were kind of oblong and about 2 1/2 or 3 inches long. She fried them in vegetable oil, as she did for potato latkes. Celery pancakes were always served as a side dish to a regular meal, usually a holiday meal that would feature roast chicken or brisket. She would make ethem in advance and freeze them, then defrost the day before the holiday and warm them up day of. They were delicious. How I wish I had closely watched the process, rather than just eating the product. BTW - I did watch the processa and help with her potato latkes.
Lindsay-Jean H. July 23, 2018
They sound fantastic, and what a wonderful memory to revisit. Perhaps someone will turn up with a similar recipe to hers!
Binnie S. July 23, 2018
Lindsay - I may try to ramp up my bravery and try to develop the celery pancakes recipe myself. What's the worst that could happen? The death of a celery stalk. I'll keep you posted.
Lindsay-Jean H. July 24, 2018
Hooray! Please do keep me posted!
Ttrockwood July 21, 2018
I desperately love jicama yet it’s not so easy to find a good fresh one since they aren’t popular. I don’t want them to be as popular as cauliflower because then the price skyrockets, but just popular enough i can find fresh ones all the time please.
I like it best as raw slices with a bit of Tajin, or sliced thin for sandwiches for some crunch that isn’t wet like cucumbers are. And makes a nice summery salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, salt and lime juice. I’m not a fan of it cooked but low carb people apparently like to pretend it’s a potato (?)
Lindsay-Jean H. July 23, 2018
Jicama is definitely a good contender to getting (a little, not too much!) more popular!
Jennifer July 20, 2018
Seek out local celery, when you can, for the taste and also the abundant leaves, which can be substituted for/mixed with parsley or other herbs.
Lindsay-Jean H. July 23, 2018
I agree, the leaves are so useful!
Deedledum July 20, 2018
The salad w/dates sounded good-is that recipe available?
Ttrockwood July 21, 2018
I think this is the same, also by john mcfadden posted to bon appetite years ago.
I have made it many times and it’s incredible! I toast the almonds in a dry skillet to keep an eye on them and often swap in sliced almonds. Also i cant have parm so i use maybe 2TB of capers instead. Be sure to use soft chewy dates. Amazing dish!
I have added somewhite beans to make it more of a meal for summer lunches
HalfPint July 20, 2018
Kohlrabi. A truly unsung hero. Delicious cooked and raw.
HalfPint July 20, 2018
BTW, my favorite celery recipe is Fuschia Dunlop's "Send down the rice" celery with beef. It's mostly celery with a smaller amount of ground beef but lacks for nothing in the flavor department. It's a favorite in my home. We make it almost 2 a week. I no longer have the celery withering away in the fridge.
Alyssa July 20, 2018
Thinly sliced raw chiogga (or red or gold) beets-- sweet, earthy, crunchy, and a great hummus vessel! Also, beet greens! Buy a bunch of beets, roast the beets, saute the greens, and combine into a warm salad using different cheeses, nuts, dressings, etc. Beets are too underrated!
Lindsay-Jean H. July 23, 2018
Agree that kohlrabi and beet greens need more love than they get!