I thought that I have heard of everything until I found a recipe for Celery Ice Cream at http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/08/celery-ice-cream-with-candied-ginger-and-rum-jenis-ice-cream-recipe.html
Well, it is Celery Ice Cream with Candied Ginger and Rum-Plumped Golden Raisins, so it sounds a little better. But just the idea of Celery Ice Cream is very intriguing because I love savory ice creams like basil or lavender so, why not?
But that recipe sent me down the celery path looking at the various kinds of celery out there. I learned that the plant has been around for thousands of years and originally was used as remedies for ailments, and not food. Also, interestingly enough, it was used as an aphrodisiac!
Used in many dishes, such as pies, stews, soups salads, or just eaten on its own, celery is full of vitamins and nutrients. So next time you drink a Bloody Mary, eat the stirrer.
Cutting Celery – An Under-Utilized Herb For Cooking
When I mention cutting celery to people, I get mostly blank looks. Americans are more familiar with the stalk celery, which is grown for its crunchy stalks and making “ants on a log”. But there are three types of celery that are available for use in cooking- one for the stalks, another for the roots, and the last, Cutting Celery for the profuse leafy foliage and some stalks.
- Stalk Celery, Apium graveolens var. dulce– Everyone
knows this one. It is available at the grocery store widely and has some leaves attached. I love using fresh celery leaves to flavor soups and stews but the celery packages at the store have very limited greens still remaining.
- Cutting Celery, Apium graveolins var. secalinum– Cutting Celery is just that. You cut the leaves when you need fresh celery greens and you can keep coming back to it. The stalks can be cut also and used in place of the packaged tasteless celery at the grocery store but has a more pronounced celery taste. Typically, this is available at Asian and farmer’s markets. I will go into more detail on cutting celery because I love this kind!
- Celeriac or celery root(Apium graveolens var.
rapaceum)-Grown for its bulbous root, some American grocery stores are starting to stock this. It looks like a hairy root but has a milder celery flavor and a starchy-like consistency.
Cutting or Leaf Celery – My Favorite!
Leaf celery has a stronger, more pungent flavor than the other two varieties and you generally don’t eat this one raw because of the stronger taste. But I like it because it gives more flavor to soups and stews than does stalk celery, and I prefer using it for those purposes.
The stalks of leaf celery can be tough and fibrous so I usually use them for making soup stock. It imparts an assertive celery taste without overwhelming the stock with that flavor.
Leaf celery is more perishable than stalk celery. To store it, I rinse off any dirt and wrap it in paper towels before putting it in plastic bags in the refrigerator. It can get very tall, so I chop it up into usable pieces for the refrigerator.
To harvest it, I “cut and come again”. The plant was growing for 10 to 11 months of the year for me to harvest which was amazing! It is a perennial so I didn’t need to replant it. When I cut some stalks, it just bounces back and forms more. The plant can get quite large, about 4 feet high and 3 wide, so give it plenty of room. Plant it in loamy soil in full sun or partial shade and just forget about it because it is very adaptable. It is like the energizer bunny in forming new stalks!
Now about that Celery Ice Cream – I am planning on trying it and will keep you posted.
- Keep Celery Fresh by Wrapping in Aluminum Foil [Food Hacks] (lifehacker.com)
- Celery Root Experiment (savingwithsisters.wordpress.com)
- Meatless Monday (scroople.wordpress.com)
- Celery soup (feedthepiglet.wordpress.com)