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Definition: celery from Philip's Encyclopedia

Biennial plant, native to the Mediterranean and widely cultivated for its long stalks used as a vegetable. Its fruits are used as food flavouring and in medicine. Family Apiaceae/Umbelliferae; species Apium graveolens.


Summary Article: Celery
From The Illustrated Cook's Book of Ingredients

Wild celery, or smallage, is native to marshy areas along seashores in the temperate regions of the world. It likes sun, but also the plentiful water found at those sites. From it, our modern celery has been bred and is grown in temperate climates around the world. The intense bitterness in smallage has been transformed into a mild, sweet, crunchy vegetable.

Buy

In markets year-round, the peak season is fall through winter to spring. The stalks should be stiff and any leaves fresh looking.

Store

Celery can be kept for up to 10 days in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper of the fridge. Wrap in damp paper towels, if necessary, to keep it from drying out.

Eat
Fresh:

Raw celery sticks make excellent crudités, or fill small pieces with blue or creamy cheese and other savory mixtures for hors-d’oeuvres. Dice for salads and sandwich fillings. Use stalks to garnish tall drinks or a cheese plate.

Cooked:

Steam, braise, bake in a gratin, sauté or stir-fry, or add to stuffings.

Flavor pairings

Blue cheese, béchamel and hollandaise sauces, mayonnaise, onions, lemon.

Classic recipes

Waldorf salad; minestra di sedano e riso; mirepoix.

Green celery

A kitchen staple, green celery is delicious both raw and cooked. The crisp stalks have a slightly astringent flavor, while the heart is creamy and nutty.

Giant Pascal

This French heirloom variety has noticeably thick, fleshy, white stalks and a nutty flavor.

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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