“NO LEAF LEFT BEHIND” should be the guiding motto for anyone attempting to integrate sustainable practices into their cooking repertoire. Though you may have garnered eco-points by purchasing organic, responsibly sourced celery, limiting your use to just the stalks can cause unnecessary waste – and keep you from reaping the full scope of nutritional benefits. Not sure what to do with the rest? Our friends at top farm-to-plate catering company, Heirloom LA, have a delicious solution for using up those mysterious middle leaves…
At Heirloom LA, we visit the farms we work with, like JF Organics, who deliver directly to us twice a week. After seeing firsthand the care, labor and water that goes into growing something as ordinary as celery, we don’t want to waste any of it in our kitchen.
Have you ever tasted celery leaves, located in the “heart” of the celery stems? They taste like, well, celery, but sweeter. They are a nice green to add to a salad, but if you want to fancy them up a bit, we recommend whipping up this beautiful, sweet-and-sour condiment to add to sandwiches, roasted vegetables or chicken, egg or fish salads.
4 celery hearts from 4 heads of celery, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
leaves from 3-4 heads of celery, washed
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup white balsamic or white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, toss celery hearts with olive oil, salt and pepper.
In a large sauce pan over high heat, quickly sauté celery hearts until slightly translucent. Add sugar and allow the sugar to release liquid from the celery. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add vinegar and reduce liquids for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
When cooled, fold in celery leaves. This will keep for up to 10 days in the refrigerator.