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The celery grown in Western NY is quite different than the celery grown in California. The "heart" of the plant is not as white (which indicates our celery is more nutrient dense) and the stalks are smaller and more fibrous. For this reason, it may be best to chop the celery if eating it raw. You can eat the leaves, too, they are great at adding flavor.

QUICK IDEAS: Chop into a salad and tear the leaves into it too; slice and add to a stir-fry or soup

Thai Celery Salad with Peanuts: Serves 4
from Bon Appetit Sept. 2014

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. fish sauce
6 celery stalks, very thinly sliced on a diagonal
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 thinly sliced red chile, such as Cherry Bomb
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts

Directions:
1) Whisk together oil, lime juice, and fish sauce.
2) Toss dressing with all other ingredients.

Celery Soup: Serves 4
From Bon Appetit Sept. 2014

1 head of celery, chopped-reserve celery leaves for garnish
1 large waxy potato, chopped (such as German Butterball or Purple Viking)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
salt
1/4 cup fresh dill
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
celery leaves, olive oil, flaky sea salt (for topping)

Directions:
1) Combine celery, potato, onion, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, season with salt. Cook, stirring, until onion is tender, 8-10 minutes. 
2) Add 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth; simmer until potatoes are tender, 8-10 minutes. Puree in a blender with dill. Stir in heavy cream. Serve soup topped with celery leaves, olive oil, and flaky salt. 

Kale and Celery Tiger Salad: Serves 4
from Bon Appetit Sept. 2014

2 red or green hot chiles, lightly smashed
2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
1/2 cup lime juice
1/3 cup fish sauce
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 medium bunch kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
3/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh Thai or sweet basil leaves
1/2 unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds (optional, for serving)
Chili oil (optional, for serving)

Directions:
1) Whisk chiles, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and 2 Tbsp. water in a large bowl. Let sit 5 minutes, remove chiles and garlic. 
2) Add kale, celery, scallions, cilantro, mint, and basil to dressing and toss to coat (salad should be very heavily dressed).
3) Serve salad topped with seeds and chili oil, if using. 

A Salad of Crushed Olives: Serves 4 - 6
from lottieanddoof.com

3 cups good whole green olives in brine (don't get the canned kind! go for quality)
7-10 celery stalks*, with leaves if possible, all finely chopped
the leaves from 7-10 stalks of mint, finely chopped
wine vinegar
olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1) Drain the olives and pat dry. With a sharp knife, make four cuts in each olive from end to end, then cut each segment away from the stone as carefully as you can. 
2) Put the pieces into a bowl and add the celery, the celery leaves and the mint leaves. Toss with the dressing, season and serve.
In other words, dice everything up and throw it in a bowl. You can vary the amount of any of the ingredients to suit your taste. 
* celery stalk size varies widely. You’re aiming for a 50/50 mix of celery and olives.


Sweet and Sour Celery: Serves 4 side dishes

3/8 cup water 
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice 
1.5 tablespoons olive oil 
1.5 tablespoons mild honey 
2 pounds celery (1 to 2 bunches; any dark green outer ribs peeled), cut into 2-inch pieces, reserving about 1 cup inner celery leaves 
1/8 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or celery leaves

Directions
1) Cut a round of parchment paper to fit just inside a wide heavy 6-to 8-quarts pot, then set round aside. 
2) Simmer water, lemon juice, oil, honey, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in pot, stirring, until honey has dissolved. Stir in celery (but not leaves) and cover with parchment round. 
3) Simmer until tender and liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 35 to 40 minutes. 
4) Meanwhile, coarsely chop reserved leaves. 
5) Serve celery sprinkled with celery leaves and parsley. 


Blue Moon Salad: Serves 4 - 6
from Asparagus to Zucchini

3 cups finely diced celery
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
1 to 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 cups arugula or spinach, cut into thin strips

Directions
1) Combine celery, dried cherries, and blue cheese in a bowl.
2) Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste; toss gently.
3) Serve on small mounds of arugula or spinach.


Curried Waldorf Salad: Serves 6
from the New York Times, 2008

For the Dressing
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste 
For the salad
2 apples
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup lightly toasted walnut halves
1 cup thinly sliced celery, from the heart of the celery
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup celery leaves or flat-leaf parsley (or 2 tablespoons each), coarsely chopped 

Directions
1) Mix together the lemon juice, yogurt, mayonnaise, curry powder, cumin, and salt. Set aside.
2) Cut the apple into 12 wedges. Cut away the core of each wedge and slice into thin crosswise slices. Toss in a large bowl with 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Add the remaining ingredients and toss together.
3) Shortly before serving toss the salad with the dressing. 


Hearty Beef Stew: Serves 6 - 8
from Savory Sweet Life

1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 lbs beef (stew beef)...make sure it is in rough cubes
3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, more if needed
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 celery ribs, cliced cross-wise into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
28 ounces beef broth (vegetable broth would work, too)
3 chicken bouillion cubes (or equivalent chicken broth)
1 lb tomatoes, diced (canned tomatoes work, especially if you canned the farm tomatoes!)
1 lb small potatoes, quartered (if you do not have small potatotes, just dice large ones to the proper size)
3 carrots, sliced crosswise into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions
1) Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Toss the beef in the flour until coated.
2) In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add a third of the beef pieces and cook until browned on all sides, a total of 8 to 10 minutes, making sure not to overcrowd the beef in the pot.
3) Transfer the cooked beef to a medium bowl. Adding more oil if necessary, brown the remaining meat in batches, moving each cooked batch into the medium bowl.
4) Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pot, and add the onions, garlic, and celery. Saute for 2 minutes...do not worry if a dark brown residue forms on the pot.
5) Add the wine, balsamic vinegar, and sugar, and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pot until all the residue has dissolved (this is where the flavor is!)
6) Stir in the beef broth, chicken bouillion, tomatoes with the liquid, potatoes, carrots, rosemary, and thyme. Return the cooked beef to the pot.
7) Bring the stew to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook until the beef is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
**Do this in a slow cooker! After coating beef with the flour mixture, add it and the other ingredients to a large slow cooker and cook 7 to 10 hours on low or 4 hours on high.


Parsley, Celery Leaf, and Jicama Salad: Serves 6 
From Gourmet Magazine October 2009

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoon olive oil
3/4 jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
3 cups parsley leaves
2 cups celery leaves
6 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions
1) Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until sugar and salt have dissolved, the whisk in oil until well blended.
2) Add jicama, parsley and celery leaves, scallions and toss to coat.
3) Serve immediately.  
Celery