In-season celery is not the bland, watery kind you get year-round from the market. It has an herbal, slightly bitter flavor, adding extra complexity to chicken salads, soups, or snack trays.
When is celery in season?
As a cool weather crop, celery thrives in fall, winter and spring, although it can be found year round.
How to pick
Look for celery with fresh leaves, with stalks that look fresh and not dried out. The stalks should look like they will snap rather than bend.
How to store
This is a bit different than most. You can wrap whole celery heads tightly in aluminum foil, which allows the ethylene gas to escape (the gas that causes things to ripen). So be careful of having it near other produce in your fridge. A plastic bag traps the gas in, which causes the celery to spoil faster.
Cut celery: it stores very well for a couple of days in an airtight container, no water needed. After that, it very slowly deteriorates. Storing cut stalks submerged in water appears to have no positive or negative effects, according to tests by Cook's Illustrated.
Should I buy organic?
If you can afford it, yes. The consumer reports analysis on pesticide tests show that the amount of pesticide in conventionally (non-organic) grown celery is at a ‘medium’ level. To put that in context, if a small child eats 5-10 servings of fruits or vegetables at a medium level in a day, the amount of pesticide consumed would exceed the EPA’s standard of “reasonable certainty of no harm” for chronic health problems and cancer.
Each recipe below only uses ingredients that are in season at the same time as celery, or ingredients that have a year-round season. Since their season overlaps with the beginning or end of other fruits and vegetables, the recipes are grouped into early season, late season, or anytime they are available.
...For anytime it is in season
Mirepoix - How to make and use it by The Cooking Dish
Mirepoix is the combination of onions, celery, and carrots that make the base of a lot of dishes.