Celery Prep 101


Trim a pound of celery and cut the ribs into 2" to 3" pieces. Place in a microwavable baking dish, add 2 tablespoons of water, and cover with a lid or vented plastic wrap. Stir pieces halfway through cooking time, 5 - 7 minutes.


In a skillet or wok, heat a small amount of oil until hot. Add 2 cups of thinly sliced celery. Cook and stir over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender.


Although braising takes longer than other methods, it can yield a more tender, flavorful result. If you braise celery by the bunch, separate the stalks and cut them into uniform lengths 6" to 8" long. Many cooks prefer to braise celery hearts. To make the hearts, trim the ribs to a length of about 5" and remove the outer ribs to reveal the tender innermost ribs, or hearts; then cut each heart in half lengthwise. Lay the celery in a heavy pan. Add enough water, vegetable broth, or defatted beef or chicken broth to just cover the vegetables; bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until tender about 15 - 20 minutes. Cut celery pieces can also be braised in this way and will take less time, about 5 - 7 minutes.


To freeze, wash stalks thoroughly, trim ends, and cut into 1 inch segments. Blanch for 3 minutes, and submerge in ice water following boiling. Place in container for freezing, leaving no room for head space.
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