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The best ways to use the leftover celery in your fridge

There's so much more you can do with celery than just ants on a log.
Celery is an essential ingredient in mirepoix, an aromatic flavor base for many dishes. Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Celery is a crunchy, green vegetable that's good for digestion and easy to snack on. But did you know there are so many different ways to use celery in your everyday recipes? This versatile veg will never be left to wilt in the crisper again once you learn these tips!

Celine Beitchman, Director of Nutrition at the Institute of Culinary Education has plenty of ideas on what you can do with celery, from pickling it and putting it in cocktails to making a refreshing cold soup.

How to shop for celery

"When shopping for celery, look for light green stalks that look fresh and don’t have bruises," said Beitchman. "If the stalks look dried out at the ends, that’s a sign of age." If the leaves are intact, make sure they are not wilted or browning. "Whole bunches of celery are better than pre-cut stalks both in terms of freshness and price, but stalks can be a convenient way to keep this delicious and hydrating vegetable in your meal rotation," she said.

How to store celery

"Keep celery in the crisper drawer in your fridge, where it will last two or more weeks," said Beitchman. If your celery is already turning, there is something you can do to save it. "As you see browning on the ends, cut those pieces off so they don’t trigger further browning down the stalk."

How to cook with celery

"In the Health-Supportive Culinary Arts classes that I teach at ICE, we use celery in many different ways: to make stocks, in bean salads and as a base for a kasha-potato baked terrine that gets part of its classic Eastern European flavor from celery and caraway seeds," said Beitchman.

A great springtime use of celery is to make some soup with it. "Celery soup, either cold or hot, is a great way to use up a lot of celery," said Beitchman. "Use vegetable or chicken stock and add aromatic vegetables and herbs like tarragon or dill."

"You can also roast celery with other aromatic vegetables as a side dish, or as a base for bean and grain dishes," she said.

If you're creative, celery can show up in your next cocktail. From a great garnish in your bloody mary to a refreshing celery tonic, this veg can shine during cocktail hour.

"Pickled celery is great to use in cocktails, or as a bright and crisp addition to starchy salads," suggested Beitchman.

Crudité is a popular way to use celery but make sure the stalks you're working with are raw and fresh. "Cut the stalks to 2-3” lengths and keep them wrapped in damp paper towels until ready to serve," said Beitchman.

"Celery is also a component of mirepoix, which is a mixture of onion (50%), carrot (25%) and celery (25%), that is used in many classic recipes," she said.

What to do with those tops

If you toss the tops of celery when cooking or crunching — not so fast! "The tops of celery can be eaten like you would fresh herbs — chopped and tossed in at the last minute or add into cold dishes," said Beitchman. "They can be bitter, so make sure to taste them before tossing a handful into your dish," she advised.

Want more ways to use celery? Read on for some recipes.

Green Tahini Dip with Radishes and Celery

This is the perfect dip to make for any get-together. It's quick to prepare, doesn't require any cooking, packs in loads of flavor and — best of all — it's actually good for you!

Green Tahini Dip with Radishes and Celery

Celery Salad with Cilantro and Sesame

The bright crunch of the celery in this salad makes it oh-so satisfying.

Celery Salad with Cilantro and Sesame

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Roughly chopped celery leaves add a sharper celery flavor and another layer of texture to this vibrant salad.

Fennel and Celery Salad

You'll use the celery stalks and leaves in this simple but delicious recipe.

Fennel and Celery Salad

Chef Marco Canora's Chicken and Beef Bone Broth

If you've got celery on hand, make this go-to broth recipe that's so versatile.

Dr. Oz's Veggie Flush Smoothie

Healthy ingredients like celery will have you feeling lighter in no time!

Dr. Oz's Veggie Flush Smoothie

Waldorf Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt

This protein-packed version of Waldorf salad tastes like summer and celery gives this dish its delightful crunch.

Chickpea and Tuna Salad

Insider tip: Let the dish sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving to allow the olive oil and the lemon to blend with the herbs.