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storing celery?

I rarely use a whole celery, and it just bugs me. How should I best store this thing?

I got a big gorgeous organic head of celery this weekend; I only needed two ribs.
I cut off the tops and froze for the next pot of stock.
I'd like to use the rest in stuffing next week, but I bet it's not going to be so . . . vibrant for that long. I'm guessing it's a mistake to freeze it if I want it to be crunchy in the turkey.

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  1. I've never tried freezing celery but I suspect that with it's high water content, it won't freeze (or rather thaw) that well. I find that it can go limp quite quickly in the fridge - my best suggestion would be to cut the ribs and store in water in the fridge (partially or fully immersed).

    1 Reply
    1. re: peppermint pate

      Yes, store it in water in either a ziploc or tupperware and it will hold up for a while.

    2. I just stick my whole head of celery in two pastic bags (one on each end) and close with a rubber band around the middle, then refrigerate. The celery should easily last a week; I keep mine forever and usually wind up salvaging the inner parts for soup.

      1. I'm with you on the insanity of buying a whole head and needing only two stalks. Drives me bonkers.

        I definitely wouldn't freeze it. I've found that celery lasts quite awhile in the fridge if you keep it in the crisper drawer.

        I also read somewhere that you can refresh celery that's a little limp by running it under cold water.

        4 Replies
        1. re: SarahEats

          This doesn't help you but I was happy to see that in French markets, you can buy it by the stalk. Good idea but not likely one that will take hold here.

          1. re: erica

            quite a few stores here sell it by the stalk as well, quite handy, i never use more than a few stalks

          2. re: SarahEats

            You can refresh it by cutting it up and putting it in a bowl of ice water. Will be as crisp as when you first bought it.

          3. I often buy it from the salad bar at the grocery store. That way I can buy just as much as I need. Sometimes they have even chopped it for me.
            In produce sections that sell it by the pound, I'll wait until nobody is looking and just pull off what I need. When the cashier gives me a funny look I just look at her like a cow looking at a new gate....

            4 Replies
            1. re: birddogfoodie

              . . . "like a cow looking at a new gate" - wonderful! I'll file that right along with "like a duck looking at thunder."

              1. re: Marsha

                Yeah, it's pretty good. I give that look to my wife all of the time. It usually follows the question "does this dress make me look....."

              2. re: birddogfoodie

                "often buy it from the salad bar at the grocery store"

                That makes sense - it's only $6 a pound that way.

                1. re: FrankJBN

                  Yep, it's totally brilliant. I'd rather buy a whole head than pay $6/lb for it. Plus it keeps a long time if wrapped up in foil.

              3. Cut it into properly sized stalks, wash, drain, wrap it tightly in foil and keep in crisper.

                1. I keep trimmed stalks in the fridge in a tall tupperware container with some water. It keeps for a couple of weeks.

                  1. this is one of those "best" chowhound tips (like fresh strawberries stored in jars with lids)
                    Wrap the celery bunch in aluminum foil - it stays crisp for weeks! Tear a long sheet of foil from the roll twice the length of the celery bunch, fold in half, sealing the celery inside the "envelope" package.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Cynsa

                      Really. The celery in aluminum foil is the best. Lasts for weeks without going limp.

                      1. re: rworange

                        YES, this really works. Stays crisp. Amazing.

                      2. re: Cynsa

                        SIgn me up on the aluminum foil and crisper team. Works very well as noted for weeks.

                        The other solution - eat the damned celery.

                      3. The local Safeway (of all places) sells celery (and even carrots) individually. I know what you mean about buying a whole gorgeous head of it, and then seeing it go to waste. Freezing is not recommended, but prepping and then submerging the stalks in water in a container really does work. Ready to eat, I find I go through it quicker as I will snack on them as often as using them in a salad or cooking...

                          1. Make many Bloody Marys and drink them copiously!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Griller

                              Griller wins. This is really the only logical solution. :)

                            2. Actually, celery keeps for like 2 weeks easily in the produce drawer, in a sealed plastic bag. Just cut off any browned edges. It, and carrots, are the most durable vegetables. Another way to keep it is to cut the bunch near the root end and submerge in a crock of water in the back of your fridge, this is a great way to keep herbs like parsley fresh too.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: niki rothman

                                I gotta disagree with you on this one. Maybe it is different fridges or temperatures but both carrots and celery start to go limp and soft after a few days for me. That was in a few fridges and crisper drawers. That's why the aluminum foil thing blew me away because it always annoyed me to throw celery away or be forced to use it for soup immediately.

                                Have some fresh mint that has been in a glass jar in my fridge for about a few weeks now and is still fresh and pretty.

                              2. I cut off the waste at both ends, trash the outer 2 or 3 layers of big, tough and stringy stalks, then wrap the remainder in a kitchen towel, dampen the whole thing under the faucet, store in the crisper drawer. Usually I keep all salad fixings in the same drawer, all cleaned and drained, under one big damp dish towel.

                                It takes practice, to be able to trash so much of a head of celery, but when you only store the parts you REALLY like to eat, you'd be surprised how fast you use it up. It lasts at least 2 weeks when kept in the dampened towel.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Bahb

                                  Waste not... use the outer pieces & shrubbery in your chicken stock - who cares how stringy or rubbery it gets if you're just using it in stock and tossing anyway.

                                2. I repeat, FOIL! FOIL! Works like a charm!

                                  1. yep, Foil or even wrap it in paper towels and then place inside a storage bag, thanks Rachael Ray !!

                                    1. I have no problem using a whole bunch of celery just between my husband and me. Of course soup is usually a given choice. I also use stalks of celery cut into three inch pieces, laid out with Tahini with some lemon juice and a bit of paprika on top to dip into. And some black olives accompanying it. And then He does love celery with chunky peanut butter too. What about the rest of you? What do you like on your celery? It's a great vegetable to top with Hummus too.

                                      1. Consider other uses. I've used it sliced thin on the bias for a celery based salad. Also used this same sliced celery sautéed with a few other veggies as a topping for fish.

                                        Just try to work it into other applications and you will be happily surprised at the results

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. I assume that the OP's 2006 celery is long gone, but as long as the tread has been revived....

                                          What I do (which I probably learned somewhere here on Chow) is store it in a (albeit large) vase with an inch or so of water and cover the top with a plastic bag and a rubber band. - Cheap shower cap from the dollar store works too.

                                          Lasts for weeks - especially if you change the water once in awhile and/or take a thin slice off the root end to expose "fresh root".