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What to Do With Celery

Don't Toss Out That Leftover Celery! Try 1 of These Recipes Instead

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Look in your crisper right now; I'd be willing to bet there's half a head (or more) of celery hanging out in there, left over from some recipe or another. An aromatic, crunchy vegetable with a fairly long shelf fridge life, it plays a supporting role in many a dish but rarely gets its moment in the spotlight. If you're wondering what to do with the rest of the head, besides letting it languish in your fridge and eventually adding it to your compost pile, these recipes and strategies will help you out.

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If you have a lot of leftover celery (perhaps you made a recipe that called for only one or two stalks), consider one of these celery-centric recipes. Make a crisp celery and radish salad, serve chicken salad inside ribs as a retro appetizer, try Ina Garten's excellent celery, parmesan, and lemon salad, juice it for a cocktail, simmer up roasted celery soup, or channel Marcella Hazan and braise it with onion, tomato, and pancetta.

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Use your surplus as an excuse to whip up wings, Bloody Marys, or another dish where it serves as a traditional garnish. Hosting a party? Set up a Bloody Mary bar. (This Bloody Mary salad also sounds excellent.) Watching the game? Baked buffalo wings are a no-brainer, or, for something a little different, try buffalo chicken dip, buffalo blasts, or buffalo chicken pizza.

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Use its legendary crunch to break up the homogeneous texture of chicken, egg, rice, and potato salads. Some recipes to try: edamame and rice salad, marinated chickpea salad, classic egg salad, chicken salad sandwiches, mayo-free potato salad, or guacamole chicken salad.

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Stick with tradition and use it in a supporting, aromatic role. One of the elements of French mirepoix (think coq au vin) or Italian soffritto (think bolognese sauce), it's also often a background ingredient in Asian dishes like chicken chow mein, in braises like Sunday brisket, and in soups like Italian sausage, kale, and white bean or chicken noodle soup.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry

When all else fails, consider making chicken, beef, or vegetable stock. (Want to feel particularly virtuous? Make bone broth.) This is a particularly great way to make use of sad, wilted celery that you might otherwise compost. If you have some time to spare, do it now; otherwise rinse, dry, and chop up the celery stalks and freeze them to be used for making stock at a later date.

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