HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Leftover celery...how do you use it up?

jboeke Jan 22, 2008 08:06 AM

I always get in the position of buying an entire bunch of celery to make soup (I just made 2 kinds over the weekend), but after using the typical 2-stalks per recipe, I still have a huge bunch of celery leftover that goes bad and gets thrown out. I can buy single carrots and onions, but I'm always stuck with celery lying around. What do you all do with the leftover celery? What recipe do you have in your arsenal that will use up half a bunch? Also, please keep in mind that we are just 2 in my household and I don't want to just quadruple a regular recipe and eat it for a solid month - I need a celery-heavy option. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. firecooked RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 08:21 AM

    I find that if I clean and cut up the celery, we will munch on it and its gone in a couple of days. Can dress it up with some peanut butter, hummus, or goat cheese.

    1. k
      kalenasmith RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 08:22 AM

      You can cut off the tops and stalks, freeze them, and use in soup/stocks or as part of the aromatics for the cavity of any poultry, then roast. I also keep a bag of mirepoix in the freezer for busy days.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kalenasmith
        c
        chowfamily RE: kalenasmith Jan 22, 2008 08:24 AM

        Chop into 1/2 inch slices and sear it in butter - it is delicious!

        1. re: chowfamily
          Chinon00 RE: chowfamily Jan 25, 2008 06:08 PM

          I'd always first remove the hard outer layer, blanch, and THEN sautee in butter. Spinkle with salt and pepper and serve as a side veggie dish.

          1. re: chowfamily
            toodie jane RE: chowfamily Feb 8, 2008 08:27 AM

            ....and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. This is delicious.

          2. re: kalenasmith
            erns53 RE: kalenasmith Jan 22, 2008 08:30 AM

            I also use it for stock... actually I leave it in my fridge for a few days to see if I'll eat it (and I rarely do for some reason that I think has to do with too many chips in my cabinet), and when it starts to wilt I cut it into smaller pieces and move it to the veggie scrap bin I keep in my freezer. When the scrap bin is full, I make stock.

            Also, I found that the leaves are really good cooked in home fried potatoes. I did it on a whim one day and now I do it all the time. Don't use leaves that have been frozen, though, I did that once and it tasted very strange.

          3. Gio RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 08:27 AM

            That's easy..... we usually have a salad every night. Soooo a couplea stalks get chopped into the mix. Then there's the ever popular stuffed celery to use as an appetizer or snack...I use blue cheese soften with a bit of cream cheese, then sprinkled with paprika.
            A small plate of carrot , zucchini and celery sticks makes for good lo-cal snacking.
            There's an Italian vegetable stew called Giambotta which I use as a sort of clean out the fridge soup. Served with a nice crusty bread it's very hearty on these cold winter nights.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Gio
              f
              fourunder RE: Gio Jan 22, 2008 08:31 AM

              My suggestions are for salads, simple tossed or especially a seafood salad with the addition of red or white onions, black olives, fresh parsley, oil and lemon

              cut on the bias, it makes a difference.

              If you do not like those or any other suggestions thus far......

              There's always Bloody Marys.

              1. re: fourunder
                Gio RE: fourunder Jan 22, 2008 11:08 AM

                Yum, Bloody Marys.... but hold the celery. LOL I like mine with a jumbo shrimp!

                1. re: Gio
                  chef chicklet RE: Gio Jan 24, 2008 07:30 AM

                  oh what a nice cocktail that would make!

                  1. re: chef chicklet
                    Gio RE: chef chicklet Jan 24, 2008 07:52 AM

                    Believe me it does. The first time I had it was at the bar at the Chowder Pot in Hartford CT. The only good eats in that establishment. IMO....been serving a shrimp cocktail like that ever since. Not too hard to replicate. I use gin instead of vodka, though.

                    BTW: celerey does make a nice addition to the tray of shrimp, with the pitcher of BMs right on the tray too.

            2. danhole RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 08:28 AM

              When you bring it home, wash it off and cut the big end off. Then wrap tightly in foil and put in vegetable drawer. This makes it last a very long time. I also cut some up and leave in a bag in the fridge for snacking. I serve some slices of celery with our dinners as well.

              1. lekkercraft RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 08:34 AM

                I chop it into snack size pieces and put it in a plastic containter w. water, which keeps it crisp and fresh. It gives me some extra time to use it up, or if I'm restlessly looking for a snack, I can grab a piece or two of that instead of something less healthy. With hummus or cream cheese or salad dressing would be good too.

                1. chef chicklet RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 08:54 AM

                  Sitir fry with chicken.
                  Egg salad, or a olive salad with celery and onions
                  And of course I always use 2 cups in about every sauce or stew I make.
                  I never waste it!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chef chicklet
                    LaLa RE: chef chicklet Jan 22, 2008 09:20 AM

                    with hot wings and blue cheese

                    1. re: LaLa
                      chef chicklet RE: LaLa Jan 22, 2008 10:54 AM

                      How could I forget!

                  2. goodhealthgourmet RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 11:06 AM

                    celery never lasts in my place because i snack on it all the time!

                    1. m
                      MakingSense RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 11:08 AM

                      I serve it as a winter vegetable frequently.
                      Celery is wonderful braised in a little chicken stock. Add a knob of butter just at the end if you like. Dash of nutmeg. Sprinkle of flat-leaf parsley.
                      Excellent steamed with lemon and dill.
                      A little browned butter, slivered almonds and bread crumbs.
                      Blue cheese and walnuts.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MakingSense
                        Aromatherapy RE: MakingSense Jan 22, 2008 11:48 AM

                        You can top your braised celery with grated Paramesan and dots of butter, brown under the broiler. Steamed with lemon & dill, wow, never thought of that. Shall adapt my artichoke recipe.

                        Thin-sliced celery makes a nice little salad all by itself, with perhaps a mustard vinaigrette, or soy sauce & black vinegar.

                      2. m
                        mmuch RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 12:17 PM

                        GIada makes a great salad with celery mushrooms and parmesan. Very simple salad with a light vinegraitte(sp) :) think it's at foodnetwork.com. Make some grilled chicken and pair it with the salad. You should be able to use a couple stalks with that.

                        1. m
                          moh RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 01:00 PM

                          We had a great stir-fry from Madhur Jaffrey: Cut celery on an angle about 1/4 inch thick. Stir-fry at high heat with snow-peas, garlic, salt and pepper. I was really surprised at how delicious this was.

                          1. fayehess RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 01:10 PM

                            You can cut each stalk in half, braise it in simmering water with a piece of thyme, a clove of garlic and a spill of olive oil until tender, then eat it as is with another spill of (good) olive oil and another pinch of salt, or reduce a cup of cream with same stuff, whole garlic clove, sprig of thyme, pinch of salt by about 1/3, and then pour over celery in oven proof dish. Stick into a 350 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

                            OOOR make a soffritto, which takes 2 onions, one head of celery, minus about 2 pieces (I try to use the inside pieces), and a pound of peeled carrots. Add to 2 whole cloves of uncut garlic in beautiful olive oil with a little salt and a sprig of flat leaf parsley. Let this simmer over low heat, giving it a lot of love and attention, for about 40 minutes, until absolutely and completely collapsed and until you can hardly stop yourself from eating it before it ever gets where it is intended to go (on top of a seared piece of fish, or along with your osso bucco, into your lentils or cannellini....)
                            fayefood.com

                            1. m
                              malabargold RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 01:24 PM

                              juicer with carrots and apples

                              1. h
                                Harters RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 02:17 PM

                                Braise it (very good with game birds, particularly pheasant). Put in salad. Eat it as it is with cheese.

                                But how come you only use two stalks for soup? Make a big batch.

                                I never have celery go bad.

                                1. s
                                  Springhaze2 RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 02:50 PM

                                  Celery is one of those things that I always have on hand, like onions, potatoes, garlic, ginger and carrots. I put it in most stewed/braised dishes and salads. Here are some suggestions...chop fine in tomato/pasta sauce with some shredded carrots - adds depth and sweetness without adding sugar to the sauce. Most any type of stew - chicken, beef, lamb, veal, etc can use a few sliced celery stalks. Slice on the bias for a nice presentation. As others have reported, I always add celery to salads and it is a must in making stock or broth.

                                  If you feel that you really can't use it up while it is fresh, freeze stalks cut into 3 or 4 inch lengths and put into anything that you are braising or stewing.

                                  1. steinpilz RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 02:56 PM

                                    One good chinese style celery recipe is chicken with celery and peanuts, I usually add some chili pepper also.

                                    1. scoopG RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 04:02 PM

                                      All good replies so far and it has given me some new ideas for celery! Here's another one, a Midwest dish I've only seen there and very popular, served in tons of take-out Chinese places - but it is American-Chinese - not Chinese per se.

                                      Take the remainder of your celery and cut into bite site pieces. IInclude flower bits as well.) Heat up a large pan. Add some oil. When hot add some ground pork or ground turkey meat. (1 lb. or so) When the meat is cooked, add the celery and enough stock (or water if no stock) to just cover. You can add mushrooms if you like them. Add a bit of molasses (for color, to darken it) and soy sauce (for salt) to taste. Make a cornstarch slurry - mixing cornstarch with cold water or cold stock. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the slurry, let it come back to a boil and then turn off the heat. Then add some bean sprouts if you have them.

                                      Serve, over store-bought Chow Mein noodles (the dry crispy kind i.e La Choy) and some rice if you like. Add some cashews on top for more zest.

                                      This, in the Midwest is "Chow Mein."

                                      1. Gio RE: jboeke Jan 22, 2008 04:34 PM

                                        Finally my brain dredged the depths and remembered that celery is an integral component of - mirepoix: the basic combination of aromatics which is used for the beginnings of sauces, stews, soups and any number of other dishes. Onions - carrots - celery. Cannot live without it in French cuisine - or any other, if truth be told. I like to sautee it with pancetta, and butter. Horrors, I know. But Oh what a flavor it imparts to just about anything savory.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Gio
                                          steinpilz RE: Gio Jan 22, 2008 04:58 PM

                                          This reminds me that my Dad brought me to a French restaurant in DC for lunch one day when I was in high school and they served browned mirepoix as a vegetable. It was great and I have cooked this sentimentally since then -- but I'd forgotten in recent years. Thanks.

                                        2. danhole RE: jboeke Jan 23, 2008 11:22 AM

                                          They had a Cream of Celery Soup recipe in our paper this morning that looked really good. It used a whole stalk, so that would work. I can give you a link if you would like.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: danhole
                                            h
                                            Harters RE: danhole Jan 23, 2008 02:06 PM

                                            Here's one that uses a whole head:-
                                            http://thefoody.com/soups/creamofcele...

                                          2. a
                                            another_adam RE: jboeke Jan 23, 2008 08:27 PM

                                            Though I also often find myself tossing washed chunks into the frozen veggie back for eventual stock, my favorite way to liven up and preserve a bunch of celery is to make celery pickles for the lunchbox! I do either nukazuke (pickled in nuka.... um, rice bran?) or misozuke (pickled in miso). If you have a Japanese market handy, you can grab a container of handy pre-made nuka-doko for pickling veggies. (One-inch pieces of celery take about a day) You can also put them in red miso for about the same length of time. Both are better if you remove the strings from the celery first, but I'm usually not so fussy...

                                            1. i
                                              irishnyc RE: jboeke Jan 23, 2008 08:56 PM

                                              I usually cut it into snack sized pieces because I convince myself I'll snack on it, but I never do. Then I chop it into small pieces and freeze it, because inevitably I'll need it for something again, and it saves wasting another bunch.

                                              I do the same with the carrots I tell myself I'll snack on, too.

                                              1. ChefJune RE: jboeke Jan 24, 2008 07:48 AM

                                                I separate the tope (leafy part) and freeze it separate for soup, then I chop the remainder and freeze it in small portions in baggies. Comes in handy when I'm in a hurry!

                                                1. s
                                                  Shayna Madel RE: jboeke Jan 24, 2008 08:05 AM

                                                  I sympathize, as I am only one person, and I do like to keep celery in my fridge, but don't use it all the time. In addition to several of the suggestions already here, I use it in tuna salad and also in stuffing. Not exactly celery-heavy options, but bit by bit...

                                                  Tupperware (and I am sure other companies) makes a line of containers that "hold" the freshness of produce longer, by a number of weeks. I did not believe it would work, but it does. Not cheap (most Tupperware isn't), but better than tossing stuff all the time.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Shayna Madel
                                                    danhole RE: Shayna Madel Jan 24, 2008 08:30 AM

                                                    As I said above, if you wash it, cut the big end off and wrap it tightly in foil, it lasts a really long time and doesn't get limp. Much cheaper than another useless gadget!

                                                    1. re: danhole
                                                      s
                                                      Shayna Madel RE: danhole Jan 24, 2008 08:43 AM

                                                      I may be making a big assumption here, but since you did not say you ever tried this stuff, I am assuming that you have not. This stuff is NOT a "useless gadget" and can be used for all different types of produce, not just leafy vegetables that you might be able to wash, trim and wrap the end in foil.

                                                      I try to buy just what I need, but sometimes it's a real pain to buy one tomato, one cucumber, one zuchini, one japanese eggplant, or I only use 1/2 of something or I buy things intending to cook, but get busy and don't use what I intend to. I don't pride myself on keeping a green pepper for two weeks, but sometimes it does happen and this Tupperware stuff does somehow extend the life of most things at least that long.

                                                      1. re: Shayna Madel
                                                        danhole RE: Shayna Madel Jan 25, 2008 07:18 AM

                                                        Shayna, I am not sure what product you are talking about, but I have bought a lettuce keeper from Rubbermaid, I think, and it was a space hog and not as effective as I had hoped. I have also bought the produce keeper plastic bags and they also weren't as effective as I expected. So if this gadget you are talking about doesn't take up a lot of space, it would be worth it. I didn't mean to offend. Just a reference to all the things I have bought from Tupperware that ended up in garage sales! I am a sucker for "useless gadgets"! I'll look at Tupperware to see what you are recommending.

                                                        When I say wrap in foil, you wrap the entire stalk of celery in foil, from top to bottom. And you are right - not going to work for tomatoes! But works great for celery.

                                                        1. re: danhole
                                                          s
                                                          Shayna Madel RE: danhole Jan 25, 2008 08:30 AM

                                                          Well, it's not a gadget, it's actually different sized and shaped plastic containers, called their "fridgesmart" line, I think, so I guess they could get bulky if you had a lot of them. The lettuce container is sorta big, but sometimes I don't put lettuce in there and use it for other things. Since I live alone and my fridge is a decent size, I probably have more room to play with in the fridge than others do. I took pity on my sister, who sold Tupperware for awhile (stopped when she needed her "spare" time to plan her wedding), and tried the stuff out. Tupperware is a tricky thing--never inexpensive, some stuff really useful, some simply not worth it at any price. But that's a subject for another thread...

                                                  2. Jennalynn RE: jboeke Jan 24, 2008 08:15 AM

                                                    I have the same problem... and I solved it by cutting up the celery in soup size pieces and then freezing them in soup size portions in vacuum bags.

                                                    Now I always have celery for all my soup making needs.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Jennalynn
                                                      m
                                                      mmuch RE: Jennalynn Jan 24, 2008 08:17 AM

                                                      Does celery really freeze well?

                                                      1. re: mmuch
                                                        Jennalynn RE: mmuch Jan 24, 2008 08:27 AM

                                                        You can't use it thawed in "raw" dishes like a salad.

                                                        The texture changes and it will never be crunchy again. but for anything cooked like soup or stew, (not a stir fry) it is just perfect.

                                                        1. re: mmuch
                                                          m
                                                          MakingSense RE: mmuch Jan 24, 2008 09:18 AM

                                                          You can freeze anything.
                                                          The question becomes what happens to it because of having been frozen. Many things lose their fresh quality but can be used just fine for cooking.

                                                          Rather than let something spoil, throw it in a ziplock and into the freezer. You can add it to stock or make another meal out of it later, maybe with a sauce.
                                                          The trick is to regularly check what's in the freezer so that you don't end up with dozens of unmarked frosty "mystery" packets that you end up throwing away later. I keep a larger ziplock for chicken scraps, one for stock veggies, etc. so that they are all together.

                                                          1. re: MakingSense
                                                            m
                                                            mmuch RE: MakingSense Jan 24, 2008 12:45 PM

                                                            thanks :-) have some extra celery in the house too....guess i will start chopping and freezing it for later!

                                                            1. re: MakingSense
                                                              alkapal RE: MakingSense Jan 26, 2008 05:14 AM

                                                              write contents and date with mr. sharpie pen on masking tape and stick it on your freezer bag.

                                                        2. hannaone RE: jboeke Jan 24, 2008 06:28 PM

                                                          Combine it with other "too much of's" like onions, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, etc - and make soup stock with chicken or beef.

                                                          1. im_nomad RE: jboeke Jan 25, 2008 02:57 PM

                                                            i enjoy glazed celery, or glazed carrot and celery together. Just the usual, parboiled celery cuts, butter and some brown sugar. Back in the day when i ate meat, it was a nice side to a ham and scalloped potatos.

                                                            1. jboeke RE: jboeke Feb 8, 2008 08:35 AM

                                                              Wow! I had no idea of all these alternatives! Thank you all for the input - I had no idea you could freeze it and still use it again. I have washed, chopped and frozed the latest bunch and will use it next time I make stock or stew. You've all been a big help!

                                                              Show Hidden Posts