3 Ways to Eat Celery That Don't Involve Ants On a Log
Blend, grill, and juice celery to get all its health benefits in new ways.
There's loads of untapped talent in a stalk of celery that goes beyond sprucing up stuffing and adding crunch to tuna salad. For one, celery becomes complex and aromatic when cooked, and it's also surprisingly good in dessert (even sorbet). The health benefits are legit too: Vitamins A and K in celery boost your brain and bones. (It's also extra hydrating.) Here, three new ways to work it.
Grill it for a twist on Caesar salad.
- 4 celery hearts
- 2 cups olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 anchovy
- Remove the outer stalks from celery hearts. Drizzle the celery hearts with olive oil, then char them on a very hot grill or grill pan and set aside.
- To a food processor, add egg yolk, celery stalk, garlic, Parmesan, lemon juice, and anchovy. Process while pouring in 2 cups olive oil, then season dressing with salt and pepper to taste
- Drizzle some of the dressing (store extra in the fridge) over grilled celery hearts and garnish with Parmesan and celery leaves.
-Todd Pulsinelli, executive chef at Restaurant August in New Orleans
Juice it for a savory granita.
- 2 celery heads
- 4 ounces sugar
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 2 ounces water
- 2 sprigs spearmint
- Press celery heads through a juicer and discard pulp. Chill juice for 30 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, bring sugar, lime juice, water, and spearmint to a boil until reduced by one-third. Strain, cool, and reserve syrup.
- In a stainless steel bowl over ice, whisk together 1 part lime-mint syrup and 3 parts chilled celery juice. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan and freeze for about 4 hours, breaking up crystals every 20 minutes with a fork. Drizzle the granita with olive oil and sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt before serving.
-Michael Vignola, chef/partner at Life Restaurant in New York City
Blend it into a spicy salsa verde.
- 1 pound celery sticks, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium jalapeño, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
- 2 ounces lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Roast celery sticks and jalapeño at 400°F until charred.
- To a food processor, add onion, cilantro, lime juice, and sea salt and pulse until roughly puréed. Add roasted celery and pepper and blend until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve with tortilla chips or tacos
-Brandon Thordarson, executive chef at Moxie's Grill & Bar in Dallas