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Celery

Asked by Lucy87. Answered on 5th May 2013

Full question

Dear Nigella team, I have a question about celery. In many recipes you need to use a stick of celery. I'm not sure what is meant by this. In Holland you have two types of celery, one is like a herb, small sticks with grean leaves, one is much bigger, it is mainly light green sticks, with a bit of green leaves sometimes. Which one is the one that you need to use in the recipes? Thank you very much!

Our answer

Celery is popular in cooking as provides a savoury undertone to many dishes. It is a component of the mirepoix mixture (celery, carrot and onion), a common starting point in lots of French dishes and it is also in the Creole and Cajun variant known as "trinity" (celery, green bell pepper and onion). Celery is also used in whole sticks or stalks in stocks and stews, can be braised and eaten hot or warm and also sliced and used raw as a crudite or in salads.

From your description it sounds as if you are lucky enough to be able to buy the wild form of celery which has thinner stalks and more leaves. The leaves are used in salads and the stalks are sometimes used for stocks but are not normally eaten. The cultivated form of celery has the thicker, larger stalks and is the most common form of celery today. It is these larger, crisp stalks that are used in Nigella's dishes, and most recipes in books.

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