Celery is a vital ingredient in the Italian sofritto and the French mire-poix. For the former, diced celery, onion, and garlic, usually followed by chopped parseley in prodigious quantities of olive oil. For the latter, diced celery, onions, and carrots in butter. These form the base for numerous delicious soups and sauces.

As for raw celery, well, I have not much use for it. However, its flavours become vivid and even spicy when cooked. I have tremendous respect for it as a flavouring agent in vegetable stocks let alone in a sofritto or mire-poix.

Serving size 2 medium stalks (110g)
Calories 25
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 125mg
Total Carbohydrate 5g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Protein 1g


% of U.S. RDA
Vitamin A 2%
Calcium 4%
Vitamin C 10%
Iron 2%
Low-calorie, Low -sodium, Source of vitamin C, Cholesterol-free, Fat-free.

Don't throw away celery that has been in your refrigerator a little too long and gone limp. Revive the stalks (or extend the shelf-life of fresh celery) by shaving a small amount off from the butt, soaking in luke-warm water (1/2 hr. or more), and refrigerating.

Originally a bitter, wild marsh plant ranging from Sweden south throughout Europe, celery was used over centuries for medicinal purposes to purify the blood.

The winner of an athletic event in ancient Greece was given a bunch of celery, much like flowers are given today.

Recipe: Celery Pie

8 or 9 large bunches of celery thinly sliced
Juice of 1 large lemon
Sugar
Ground cinnamon
Pinch of both ground mace and ground nutmeg
Unsalted butter
1 large egg white beaten with a little water, for brushing
A Crust from the market

Preheat oven to 450° F.

Taste a few slices of the celery to gauge how much sugar you'll need to make them sweet. In a large bowl, mix the celery slices in the lemon juice. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon to taste, then add the mace and nutmeg. Pour the celery mixture into the prepared pastry shell. Mound toward the center and dot with butter. Roll out the remaining pastry and carefully lay it over the celery. Seal the edges, cut vent holes, and decorate with decorative shapes. Brush the egg wash over the surface of the pastry. Place the pie pan on a baking sheet (to catch any spill over) and cook in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350° F. and continue to cook for about another hour, until the top crust is a beautiful golden brown. If the edges start to darken too much, cover with a ribbon of aluminum foil. When baking is complete, cool the pie on a rack for two hours and toss in the garbage. Do not let anyone eat the pie, as it will be extremely yucky.

Folk Names: Celydoyne, Chelidoninum, Devil's Milk, Garden Celandine, Kenning Wort, Swallow Herb, Swallow-Wort
Gender/Planet/Element Associations: Masculine/Sun/Fire

 

Uses In Folk Magic:

    Lust
  • The stalk, along with the seeds, induces lust when eaten. Ancient Roman women ate celery to increase their sexual appetites.
    Mental Acuity
  • Witches supposedly ate celery seeds before flying off on their brooms so that they wouldn't become dizzy and fall!
  • Chew the seeds to aid in concentration or use in spell pillows to induce sleep.

Sources:

  • Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1998.
  • A Kitchen Witches' Guide to Vegetables. "Kitchen Witchery". www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/4536/WiseWomansCottage/kwveggies.html. Accessed: 21 December 2001.

Cel"er*y (?), n. [F. c'eleri, cf. Prov. It. seleno, seler; fr. Gr. parsley, in Lgr. & NGr. celery. Cf. Parsley.] Bot.

A plant of the Parsley family (Apium graveolens), of which the blanched leafstalks are used as a salad.

 

© Webster 1913.

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