If there’s one herb that can be counted on to dress up even a most mundane dish, it’s celery.Just a stalk of celery laid on your kitchen counter can make it appear as though something exotic is cooking. In flavour, fragrance, looks and health, celery can be counted on to win all contests hands down.
Celery, which belongs to the same family as carrot, cumin and the poisonous hemlock, has a hallowed past that goes as far back as King Tut’s tomb, which contained a shroud adorned with celery and olive leaves, among other things.Hippocrates was bang on target when he described it as a nerve-soother. In ancient Rome, it was greatly sought after as an aphrodisiac – a fact corroborated by modern scientists, who have discovered that celery is rich in androsterone, a pheromone released by the male sweat glands, which attracts females. And Casanova ate a lot of it. I rest my case.
Our green wonder makes up a part of the Holy Trinity in three major cuisines – French, Louisiana Creole and Cajun. It’s extremely economical when it comes to cultivation as well as calories – one ounce of seeds can fill up a whole acre with grown celery stalks. In addition, one stalk has only ten calories, so you can eat mountains of it without a qualm. And even these calories are “negative calories”, meaning that you burn up more calories in digesting and assimilating even these meagre calories. So go ahead, celery is not just for seasoning, it can even hold up a dish all by itself, as you will see from these wonder recipes:
1. Stir-fried Chicken with Celery
A typically Chinese dish, quick off the mark and spot on when it comes to a culinary explosion of tastes, flavours and textures.
2. Celery Juice
How to have more salad, would have been an apt title for this recipe. You just juice up your salad and drink it, according to this presenter.
3. How to prepare celery root
It looks unappetising, you say? Well, this video should help you change your mind. Our presenter suggests at least four imaginative ways in which you could use the large leftover part. In ways that would make your heart skip a beat, with joy, of course.
4. Celery Soup
With just potatoes to starch it up, and no heavy cream, this soup does manage to hold its own, in all departments – looks, taste and health.