THERE is always too much celery. It needs some attention. It is the needy child in the kitchen. You can serve it with cheese or as a base for canapés but that is a bit retro for me.
Celery’s greatest virtue is as part of the base for any soup. It is a fast flavour enhancer. It is the cheat’s vegan stock and gives body. Celery+cauliflower+chickpeas = a result. It is of course a fine soup in its own right and will also mingle well with blue cheese on top. You just have to strain it so you don’t get any wiry bits.
It can also roast around a chicken, with a little cider for luxury.
Raw it benefits from being disguised with elegant shaving off a mandolin (or a potato peeler) perhaps combined with fennel (which is also good in broth and soup) and dressed with lemon and evo. Or more complex nuts, pomegranates, herbs and bulgur wheat. Or for fun its root (celeriac)
Most famously it is an essential part of a waldorf salad – mixed with white cabbage, apple, grapes, walnuts, mayonnaise and a few extra splashes of cider vinegar. The Thai variation uses the celery as base for a vibrant sauce of chilli, peanuts.
The leaves are powerful herbs, used sparingly. The seeds too are useful. I have seen recipes where they are preserved in cognac for a couple of weeks and then used to spruce of soups and casseroles.
Braised is a good surprise, on its own or perhaps with onion and carrot or other root, just saute in butter for five minutes, then cover with broth or stock or wine even and let it cook down…serve with just a little sauce on top.