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How-To

Discover Celery’s Warm Side

Cooking this familiar vegetable brings out its sweet, subtle flavor and fragrance

Fine Cooking Issue 11
Photos: Gentl & Hyers
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To most Americans, celery equals crunch. It’s something we eat raw, whether we dip it in a bit of kosher salt or chop it up for tuna salad. But if you cook celery, as Europeans have done for ages, you’ll discover that celery has a different, sweeter flavor. In Europe, celery is braised, sautéed, puréed, baked, and fried–never steamed or boiled, which renders it tasteless. De Mane describes several French and Italian celery dishes that make you want to head for your vegetable crisper, and the accompanying photographs, often of other dishes, only intensify that feeling. Now that she’s got our attention, De Mane tells us how to find and select the best celery and keep it fresh; how to prepare it for cooking; and how to chop or mince the ribs. Helpful photographs supplement her instructions, showing how to air-dry a celery stalk and peel away the fibrous strings. An illustrated sidebar discusses uses for other parts of the celery plant: the seeds, the leaves, and the root or celeriac. Recipes include: Braised Celery with Tomato & Pancetta; Tubettini with Celery Sauce; Celery & Potato Purée; and Two-Celery Soup.

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