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I dislike celery!

And so many dishes call for chopped celery and carrots (btw, I also hate cooked carrots). Like soups, stews, etc. And they call for what would amount to 2 or 3 stalks of celery. What do I do with the rest? It won't be good if I freeze it for use later, will it? Thx.

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  1. i stopped using celery in my stocks and soups long ago. i like eating it raw, but it brings a bitterness to dishes that i don't care for. btw, thomas keller agrees. :) carrots, however add a sweetness.

    if you dislike them, and don't like the finished product in which they're involved, just don't use them.

    oh, and no, it doesn't freeze well at all.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      actually, it freezes great for stock/soup use
      I'm not in love with celery either, but it makes sense in plenty of recipes

    2. I dislike celery, too, and always leave it out of recipes. When my parents go on vacation and clean out their fridge, they give me theirs. I go to a Little Farm in a local park and feed it to the goats. I don't think you can freeze it, so just skip it.

      1. I leave it out of everything except for my stuffing and then I chop it really fine.

        I cannot stand the taste of celery - I even pick it out of canned soups.

        1. I don't mind celery, but never buy it because it always goes to waste. If you like the flavor but not the texture or if its mere presence is annoying, try using celery salt. It gives a subtle flavor of celery (that you can control) without having to use or buy fresh celery.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dukegirl

            Celery seed has the flavor without the sodium.

          2. You can't freeze celery but it keeps in the fridge for at least two weeks. It takes ages for us to use up a bunch because it's really a seasoning, not a vegetable. (I LOATHE raw celery or celery-as-a-vegetable, but it's great with one stalk chopped up small in a dish...)

            3 Replies
            1. re: Kajikit

              it actually freezes great, for later use in soup/stock
              (I learned that on this board ages ago)

              1. re: pitu

                I pulled some limp celery from the fridge yesterday (I also dislike it, but needed it for a recipe). Re-crisped it in a bowl of ice water for about 15 minutes. Turned out fine.

                I've also sometimes cooked the celery in the dish for a mild flavor, then fished it out when serving--I think it's as much the cooked texture as the taste that I don't like.

              2. I like celery for the crunch, so I'm the opposing voice in this thread. But I did want to mention that when I buy celery and use just two or three stalks, I use the remainder as a snack. I can cut them into mini sticks and dip them in salad dressing or I cut them into segments and stuff them with tuna and mayonnaise. For kids, dietitians always recommend a snack called "Ants on a Roll" and that's basically celery segments with a spread of peanut butter on top and then a row of raisins to finish it off.

                Anyway, for all you celery haters, another alternative I sometimes use when cooking stock or stuffing, etc., that might call for celery is I replace with leeks.

                1 Reply
                1. re: singleguychef

                  "Ants on a Log"...that's what it's called. As a kid I never understood how this was considered a snack...veggies were not a snack to me! If I was given this, I would always lick out the peanut butter and raisins. : )

                2. I agree with everyone else. Just skip it. You can use onion in its place in most soups/stews (unless, of course, we're talking celery soup!). I actually like the stuff, but rarely buy it for a soup recipe because I never get around to eating the rest of it, and it seems like such a waste.

                  1. Ironically, I had just started munching on a celery stalk when I opened this thread. The crunch keeps me away (some times) from chips and pretzels and such. I definitely enjoy the lower part of the stalk and the heart better than the top of the stalk.

                    I'm sure you can skip it in recipes, but I would add something else to the onions so that it is not quite as one-dimensional a base for whatever you are cooking. The leeks might be good. I also eat the inner part of broccoli stalks. I've never tried it, or even thought of it before now, but I wonder how those would be diced and sauteed.

                    1. I get the feeling that, in a lot of recipes, celery is just "solid bulk," taking up otherwise bare space (like at the bottom of a crock pot recipe, or in a soup). I used the stalks of broccoli when I had them instead of celery and like that much better. Even raw, as in salads. Once, I braised the celery with onions, as you do for fennel bulbs. That was tolerable, at least it used up the bunch.

                      1. You can certainly omit celery from your recipes, but there is a reason that it's a part of mirepoix and the trinity... aromatic vegetables have a very valuable place in many dishes. But it sounds as if you would like to include the celery when called for, you just don't want to be stuck with the rest of the bunch.

                        Here's the solution; check your supermarket's salad bar. You can use their smallest container and just take the amount you need. It was probably cut several days ago, but celery is sturdy and it will be fine.

                        Another option would be to look for celeriac in your grocer's produce section. Smaller or low-price oriented supermarkets tend not to have it, but if you can find it and they happen to have a smaller celery root, you could certainly make the substitution. But a lot of the celeriac at the market is huge, so that won't really help you unless you like celery root better than celery.

                        Also I sometimes substitute fennel for celery in certain dishes, but it really depends on the other flavors in the recipe.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Kater

                          I love fennel. It's usually pretty expensive thought - $1.49/bulb. I think I saw it growing on the roadsides in San Francisco! Lucky them!

                          1. re: xnyorkr

                            Unfortunately, the wild fennel doesn't have bulbs. The fronds are good though, and one year I collected pollen. (Not worth the bother.)

                        2. God am I glad - I thought I was the only person in the world who could not stand raw celery! Don't really like it cooked in stuff either, mushy and stringy, but I don't object to the flavor. Just a texture issue, I guess.

                          I often substitute fennel if I think the anise flavor won't overwhelm the dish.

                          1. Devil stick. (Don't ask - long story)
                            I hate raw celery with a passion that is more than a little disturbing, if celery has been cut with a knife that is then used for something I will eat, I'll know about it. But, it does go in my ragu. That's it, nothing else. It normally gets minced on my mandoline and most of what I buy goes to waste. It is however about the best vegetable for keeping in my fridge, cling film in the bottom drawer and it is 'good' for anything up to three weeks. Other people recently advocated tin foil and alsorts for wrapping, you should still be able to find the thread. (Everytime I reopen chowhound in another window it loses my original post so I'm not going looking!)

                            1. I came across this tip. Wrap celery in aluminum foil and it stays fresh much longer.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: othervoice

                                It works really well, stays crisp.

                              2. Celery is yucky! The only thing I would use celery for is in tuna for the crunch effect but, I don't. So, I sub for either dried cranberries (very good in tuna and mayo) or water chestnuts, also good in tuna. Or, I'll put water chestnuts into stuffing. That's it.
                                Never a celery walk into thy abode! :)KQ

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Kitchen Queen

                                  as others said, I use fennel for the crunch in tuna! Or carrots, but fennel is really the best.

                                2. Celery can be frozen! It will not be crisp again, but is fine for cooked soups and stews. I chop and blanch it first, then freeze. I love the stuff myself. I've tasted, and the bitterness seems to come from the little light green fresh-looking leaves, not the mature stocks. Surprised me.

                                  1. Celery is often bitter and fibery but I have found organic celery to be much tastier. I love celery and it goes in everything I cook but it can be bitter I agree. It has to do with the way its grown and also I think might have to do with age. Sort of like an old onion being very strong.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: bolivianita

                                      When I do use the vile stuff, I peel it, just like peeling/skinning a carrot. Helps with the worst of the strings.

                                    2. Oh and btw...for those of you who hate the taste of celery...never use Russian Dressing...celery seeds are part of the ingredients...and therefore adds a fairly strong celery flavor. I myself don't mind the flavor...just hate the texture.

                                      1. Try candied celery! Sounds crazy but it was paired with pears in a recent Gourmet edition.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: HaagenDazs

                                          Yes, I was crazy enough to make it, and I loved it, too...totally transforms the flavor and some of the texture of celery. Among family/friends, celery is more often hated by women and tolerated/enjoyed by men...is there a gender basis for the aversion????

                                          1. Emeril had a show addressing celery and why so many people hate it. It was his claim that it was the skin that was the culprit. He made a simple side dish of peeled thinly sliced celery blanched and then sauteed in butter and served with salt and fresh cracked pepper. So I made it and it was quite good. Not remarkable but that "celery" taste was virtually gone and you just got a earthy buttery mixture which was tender but with still a little backbone.
                                            As for carrots there's a wonderful soup made with caramelized carrots, cream and veal stock. Extremely rich and a little sweet, I rest a paper thin slice of blue cheese on the surface.

                                            1. This thread is killing me! :lol:

                                              Yes, I most definitely think you have permission not to use celery!

                                              If you want a replacement, you could try Italian flat-leafed parsley for broths and soups.

                                              1. I love celery in any form, but it tastes totally different when cooked through til soft... sweet and completely different from raw. When I make cauliflower puree, I often add cooked mashed celery for flavor.

                                                1. Actually, speaking of Chinese restaurants - that's a good idea, substitute bok choy or shard for celery in recipes. I'll have to try that.

                                                  1. For those with an open mind, here's a LA Times story featuring the beloved celery (may require registration): http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

                                                    1. I don't like celery raw but I just tried marcella hazan's tomato sauce with chopped veggies with the celery and it was really, really good.

                                                      If you have a bunch of celery and don't know what to do with it, I suggest trying Marcella's recipe for gratineed celery - you cover it with so much butter and cheese and cook it to nothingness that it becomes quite tasty, even to non-celery people. In my experience, anyway. :)

                                                      1. I will not eat raw celery. Not in salads, as sticks or any way! I do however enjoy cooked celery in certain things such as poultry stuffing, seafood dishes, soups, etc.

                                                        What I usually do is go to a salad bar and get just enough for my recipe. It's also already chopped too!

                                                        An alternative to celery if you just want the crunch and not the celery taste would be jicama or chayote. I really like chayote's freshness.

                                                        1. Folks, a reminder to keep your replies helpful and on topic; the poster was asking for suggestions on how to use up excess celery. Suggestions on substitutions for celery are also helpful, so we've left them up, but 'I hate celery, too!' with no added information doesn't help solve her celery problem.

                                                          1. I got away from celery in soups and sauces for a while. But you know what? I quickly found that the dishes suffered as a result. For whatever reason, I find that celery brings out the flavour of the other ingredients. .

                                                            What I began to do is to reduce the amounf of celery called for in typical recipes by about half, and I also peel the outside of the vegetable before chopping it up very finely. It becomes practically undetectable as an ingredient while still enhancing the others. I still don't eat it or use raw celery in anything except maybe very sparingly in tuna salad. Gotta be cooked.

                                                            As for leftover celery... well, it aint a truffle. It keeps well enough in the crisper for a while, and if I gotta chuck it, so be it. I'm not a wasteful person, but the thing costs like 2 bucks.

                                                            1. it sounds like you are using celery to make a mirepoix (the carrot / celery / onion dice that is the base of a lot of french cooking) and dont know what to do with the leftovers to keep them from going bad. if so, raw celery won't freeze well, but the mirepoix will do ok.

                                                              don't go without, please, to my mind there is no better flavor to use for chicken soup or a lentils or so many other soups and stews. simply cook a bigger batch - a whole celery, several carrots and onions. saute them in a good olive oil, salt and pepper them, and freeze them in small portions once they cool.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: andytee

                                                                THAT is what I was thinking of, but I didn't know what you call it. An "Aha!" just went off. Yes, it's the requisite carrot/celery/onion additions (the mirepoix) that always seem to be there, and hold me back from making things because I never have carrots or celery in the house. Or green peppers. I'd have to buy large amounts for a recipe and inevitably have leftovers that I never get around to finishing before they rot. I like the salad bar idea, but I can imagine it would cost as much for the whole thing as it would for the salad bar portion, and I can't see myself doing that either, just on principle. But *maybe* I can chop a supply of carrots/celery/onions and freeze them to have on hand! Would that work? For cooking, not to eat fresh.

                                                                1. re: xnyorkr

                                                                  for soups, stews, and sauces, making a big batch of mirepoix and freezing it in individual portions should work fine. it might not be as good as fresh, but it will be better than not using it. if you pack it airtight (maybe in a good ziplock bag) and use it within a few months i doubt you will notice a difference. use a little extra fat in cooking it, it will help preserve it in the freezer.

                                                                  to be clear, im not suggesting you freeze diced raw veggies, im suggesting that you saute them in olive oil until almost done and then freeze them in small portions. when you want to use them in cooking, you can simply put them in a pan frozen and let them thaw over low heat.

                                                                  also, if you are freezing in plastic, make sure it cools before packing it, or it may pick up a plastic flavor.

                                                                  you mentioned peppers as well. don't put them in your mirepoix, but if you wanted to saute bell peppers and onions in olive oil to use in cooking, that would probably freeze fine in individual portions as well.

                                                                  1. re: xnyorkr

                                                                    You can also buy pre-chopped mirepoix at Trader Joe's. Helps with not having leftovers.

                                                                2. I like broccoli, and have been using broccoli stems in lieu of celery if I have to.

                                                                  1. A friend and I discovered that neither of us likes celery, and we both often substitue chopped green bell pepper in it's place in many recipies. For cooked carrots, when you are doing the cooking, just put them in at the last possible moment, keep them crunchy.

                                                                    1. Actually, I used to dislike celery until I discovered organic celery. Organic doesn't necessarily mean that it will taste better. But celery is an exception. You may want to give it a try. If you still don't like it, you can freeze it if you're making stocks. If you have a deli or salad bar in your area, try buying it by the stalk. Or think about getting a vacuum sealer.

                                                                      1. In the "old-days" (when I was a child), no holiday table or picnic hamper was complete without celery stalks filled with cream cheese, or some tasty cream cheese mix. Also carrot sticks. They were on the table as appetizers, or accompanyments to the meal along with the relishes and pickle spears. Not the tougher outer stalks of the celery (these were used for cooking purposes), but the more tender inner stalks. In fact, the groceries used to sell celery hearts for such use. Haven't seen just the celery hearts for sale in the stores for years now.

                                                                        When I use celery for cooking, I peel or pull the tougher strings from the outside stalks.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Lisbet

                                                                          I think I have seen bags I the hears above the full stalks. Look up high.

                                                                        2. I really like celery, especially scratch celery salt. All you do is pick off celery leaves, lie them on a sheet pan and roast for about 5 minutes at 350. Then blend with a good finishing salt such as Maldon. Celery salt that tastes as it should.

                                                                          1. I love this thread! Everyone thinks I'm weird for hating celery!! Nice to know I have some weird companions. :-)

                                                                            I actually don't mind celery cooked but hate it raw. I just buy it and pitch what I don't use for seasoning (wasteful, but whatever). I love celery leaves for seasoning much more than the stalks. I wish you could just buy the leaves.

                                                                            Sometimes you can buy celery by the stalk (one of my grocery stores has this option).

                                                                            Sometimes I substitute green onions instead.

                                                                            1. It is always interesting to see what people dislike. I always thought that celery had such a neutral flavor that no one would dislike it. Shows how much I know.

                                                                              As far as using it, I plan several meals with celery when I buy it. I also use it, along with other veggies to dip in a very lowfat ranch dip for snacks. You can wrap the entire head in foil after using it and it will keep for a month in the fridge. And, while you cannot freeze it raw, it freezes well in soups and stews. You may could saute a bunch, cover it with a bit of broth, then freeze in batches small enough for soups and stews. Just throw the broth and celery into your soup or stew.

                                                                              1. I don't like cooking OR eating anything with celery, black olives or pickles. To me the taste overwhelms everything else

                                                                                1. Over the years I have come to like raw celery so I no longer find myself freezing limp stalks for later use in stock. I have made stocks without it, and don't think they are as good. If you don't want to buy it at all, get dried celery leaves in the spice aisle. They supply the flavor, but no crunch.
                                                                                  Fine for stocks and stews. They disappear, unlike celery seed. The fresh leaves are the mildest part of the celery and can be enjoyed as a salad green.

                                                                                  1. You can skip it most times, I think, although I confess I like celery a lot. I do strongly prefer organic celery though. Flavor is better for one thing. But the regular celery is purported to be raised with large amounts of pesticides. It is better to buy organic when it comes to celery.

                                                                                    One way I like celery is in an old-fashioned Waldord salad. I also put it in soups and stews--even chili.

                                                                                    1. A good option, invite friends over for a Bloody Mary, serve the stalk in the drink, then you wont feel bad about throwing them away after they drink the bloody marys, or your friends might eat them!

                                                                                      1. Me too!

                                                                                        Other than in potato/egg/chicken salad, if I never saw celery again, I wouldn't cry.

                                                                                        1. Many of the time they are using it for a mirepoix. If they are, swap it for a different aromatic onion/garlic/tomato onion/fennel/leak parsnip/leak/onion etc
                                                                                          Find one or two combinations you like and use that instead.
                                                                                          If its the texture you hate, pureeing it might help. If its the taste swap it out.

                                                                                          1. I tried Lidias recipie for stuffed veggies after seeing her make it on tv, and she stuffs celery, which sounded pretty weird at the time, but is now my favorite!