Treat Your Celery with Respect

Ingalls Photography

Long relegated to lunch box snacks, mirepoix, and as a cooling agent for hot wings, celery is finally getting its moment in the sun. Just ask Curtis Stone, chef/owner of the celebrated Maude in Beverly Hills, California. "I've been growing celery in my garden for years," he says. "I love everything about it, from the earthiness it adds to stocks to the slightly numbing, subtle bitterness of its leaves to its super crunchy texture." Stone turns the vegetable's leaves into a fantastic salad dressed with a spicy vinaigrette and topped with fresh crab. He reduces celery juice and drizzles it over a tart apple sorbet or freezes it into a savory granita to pair with raw hamachi. And he uses the flavorful stalks for braised dishes such as céleri barigoule. The resulting tender stalks—simmered in wine and olive oil along with garlic, onion, and thyme, and topped with an aïoli made from the braising liquid—are sure to inspire new esteem for this undervalued veg.