I’ve never tried to grow celery. Heard it was kinda finicky and you’ll never end up with what you find in the store. Not that that usually stops me, but in this case, I just couldn’t do it. We don’t eat celery all that often, but I do like the flavor it adds. As tends to happen, one thing led to another, and I first ran into lovage, then pursued it a bit further to cutting celery (also sometimes called leaf celery). Both can be used as substitutes for regular celery, though it sounded to me like lovage had a slightly different flavor. And so just like that, we planted some cutting celery.
Flavor-wise, it’s more intense than regular celery, which was expected since celery is about 95% water. There’s a little more of a bitter after-note, and it’s not as sweet, so it’s probably not recommended for just munching or ants on a log. Of course, the stalks are more like fat stems (maybe pencil-sized for the biggest), so trying to apply peanut butter doesn’t really work out anyway. When you need celery, pick a stem, mince it up (leaves and all, though do note that the leaves are slightly more bitter), and toss it in, using about a 1:1 (stalks, not cups) replacement ratio. When in doubt, start on the low side and taste your way up.
Planting and growing was quite easy – I started seed inside with the tomatoes, then transplanted it out after the last frost. Didn’t pay any special attention to it, but it took off. I’m not sure how many plants I ended up with (about 10?), but I could definitely make do with fewer next year; they’re prolific. I picked some here and there when needed, but mostly it just grew until mid-October, when I sheared them all off at the ground, put everything through the food processor, and froze in ice cube trays. Now, when we need it, I just pop a cube into a soup for instant celery flavor!
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