What the experts say...

 

It’s sometimes hard to think of celery as anything more than a comedy vessel for cream or blue cheese in some kind of retro canapé. Yet there’s so much to this deeply savoury kitchen staple that’s worth exploring.

Joanna Weinberg, The Times

Celery has such a lot going for it as a raw ingredient in salads, and because of that we rather forget how good it is cooked and served as a vegetable.”

Delia Smith

We need celery in the kitchen like we need salt and onions; few braises succeed unless celery is included in the mirepoix, the chopped vegetable mixture that kickstarts the scent of a bubbling stew.

Rose Prince, Telegraph

We chop it up for salads which is great, its stem is a natural dipper and it is the perfect accompaniment for cheese. After each taste of cheese it’s great to crunch down on fibrous but juicy celery stalks. They are like a natural palate cleanser.

Greg Wallace, Waitrose Weekend

Celery is a bit like gym membership. We buy it – often in January – as we bask in the righteous glow of our own good intentions. We use it once (in celery's case, we try to make the leftover Christmas cheese board look virtuous with a few green sticks in a jug of water), then we forget about it for another year. The key difference is that whereas gym membership really is a waste of time and money, celery is actually a very useful, even inspiring, vegetable. It has a peppery crunch and aromatic savouriness that really is too good to ignore, particularly at this time of year when crunch is a rare commodity indeed. Celery's special qualities come to the fore when it is teamed up with the right companions – and these can often come as quite a surprise.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Guardian