Celery can grow to optimal heights from 18" to 24". It has wide parsley-like green leaves and thick, juicy, ribbed stalks that join at a common base above the root. Celery, at its best, has a juicy and crunchy flesh with a mild salty flavor. Although celery is most often used for its stalks, its leaves are edible as well and have a concentrated celery-flavor.
Celery is available year-round.
The genetic base of the current U.S. varieties is narrow as they were derived from three European varieties introduced in the early 20th century.
Celery is commonly used as an aromatic, or in mire poix bases, but should not be overlooked as a vegetable. Cook diced celery with onions or apples, potatoes and cream and puree into soup. Braise sliced celery in vegetable stock and wine, or bake with cream and cheese into a gratin. Combine raw celery slices with citrus segments and grains for a cold salad. Stuff 3-4 inch slices of celery with cheese or hummus for an appetizer. Store celery, head intact, in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks