Since becoming a gardener, I am constantly looking of ways to use every part of the vegetable. Over the years, I have learned that cauliflower, turnip, and broccoli leaves are amazing. See here for a recipe for greens to die for. Simple easy and addicting. I have even tried cooking sunflower leaves but when they are big, they are tough and I just don’t care for them.
This was my first year growing celery. What a beautiful plant. I have to admit, it was a reasonably easy plant to grow and stands erect and full. Since a hard frost is coming, I have to start pulling it. I don’t know if it is the seed that I chose or perhaps if I had a longer growing season, but the stalks were kind of thin. And what do I do with those gorgeous celery leaves?
Can I use the leaves for cooking?
As I was cutting up the stalks, I thought to myself, don’t toss the leaves in the compost. Find out what you can use them for? Have any of you used celery leaves for soups?
Always the curious one, I tasted a leaf. It tasted like celery (duh) but was a little bitter for me. In fact my celery was bitter too.
Bitter Home Grown Celery
In my process of looking to find out about the uses of celery leaves, I learned that I did not blanch the celery before I harvested it. What an odd term. How do you blanch celery? Thoughts of boiling water for three minutes, plunging celery in the water, and then cooling it on ice ran through my mind. Am I stupid? Why would I do that?
So, how do you blanch celery without making it wimpy?
Basically, a couple weeks before you harvest, you block the sunlight from the celery. See here for how you make garden celery sweeter Next year, I will make ready made trenches to make it easier to blanch. Heck, why not call it what it is. Bury the celery!
So, how can you use the celery leaf?
- 9 times out of 10 comments, I would see, use the leaves for soup.
- Use them in casseroles.
- Substitute for cilantro. I hate cilantro so this is easy idea. Do you think that this is a good substitution for cilantro?
- Use them in salad.
- Use them in soup or stock
- Check out this recipe, Mushroom Carpaccio with Pecorino Toscano from Epicurious, where they use 1/4 cup of celery leaves.
Storing celery leaves
Not making soup right now? Me neither. So, I decided to dry my leaves in the oven for 30 minutes at 200 degrees. (See picture of leaves ready to go into the oven.) The above article said you can freeze them too or dry them in a paper bag. The dried leaf was crispy like a potato chip. Not bad either. Less bitter than when it was fresh.
Just in case you want to buy them, I sell them through Anna Lee Herbs. It is a hot item!
So, what have you used celery leaves for?