Crisp, light and refreshing, the bright, straight stalks are widely used in salads and canapés for their excellent texture and brilliant bite. Long the darling of diet food, it's important to remember the role that celery frequently plays in soups, sauces and stocks, with its flavours mingling in the background along with carrots and onions - the mirepoix. Celery also is prominent in American Cajun cooking.
Dominic Chapman crafts an exquisite turkey, Stilton, chicory and walnut salad recipe using the stronger-flavoured celery leaves as a counterpoint to the creamy Stilton in the salad, while the celery stalks are used to flavour the poached turkey. Chris Horridge's potage of vegetables with poached duck egg, includes celery, carrots, leeks and shallots for a deliciously hot and hearty vegetable stew.
The celery stalk is also a friend in the world of drinks. A familiar breakfast or brunch drink familiar with revellers of the night before, the Bloody Mary is given a fantastic reinvention as Bloody Mary foam by Daniel Clifford, with celery featuring in both the accompanying salsa and its juice in the foam.