Sunday, June 4, 2017

Celery Leaves

My dad was raised by a single mother who grew up during the Depression.  From this experience, he learned the importance of hard work and to not waste anything.  Dad would save anything and everything and repurpose it.  Plastic soda bottles with their bottoms cut off became mini greenhouses over pots containing cuttings that were rooting.  He had an unending supply of rubber bands collected from years of morning newspapers.  We won't talk of the many collections that were safely stored in butter tubs.  I did not inherit this practice from my dad.  I am a purger, a minimalist, an if I can't use it right now, don't save it kind of person...except for books.  I guess its a good thing that books can't be stored in butter tubs!

And food...I can't stand wasting food.

This is the first year that we have grown celery in our garden.  It has done quite well.  Over the weekend we harvested four bunches.  Yes, that's a lot of celery, but for me celery is like potato chips - a vehicle for dips of various kinds and, of course, nobody can eat just one.  Peanut butter, hummus, cheese, even the occasional Ranch dip are all fair game as companions for celery.  We cut and stored the stalks so they can be quickly and easily grabbed for snacks or meals.  Did you know that peanut butter and celery is indeed a meal?  When all was said and done, we were left with a huge pile of leafy greens from the tops of the stalks.  Most of the time these have already been removed from the celery when you buy it at the grocery store so you don't have to worry about them.  This big pile of beautiful greens sitting on the counter caused my don't waste food gene to kick in.  The problem is that I had no idea what to do with celery leaves other than make soup or toss them in salads.

Enter Google.

SEARCH: what to do with celery leaves

This search yielded quite a few articles.  Soups and stews, salads, homemade celery salt...the usual and expected suggestions were all mentioned.  The one thing that I had not thought about was celery leaf pesto.  I like pesto.  Celery leaves have a somewhat sharp taste unlike the sweet flavor of the basil used in traditional pesto, but it was worth a try.  I read several recipes, all very similar to one another and to basil pesto except for the celery leaves.  I ultimately chose the recipe I used because it called for the largest amount of celery leaves of the recipes that I found and it did not use parsley.

This is the recipe that I settled on, though I substituted pine nuts for the walnuts.

As is often the case with dips and sauces, the celery leaf pesto will probably be best once it sits for a day and the flavors have a chance to meld.  Though even at this point, it tastes better than it looks.  Lol!  Celery leaf pesto can be used as a dip, sandwich spread, over pasta, or in any way that you would use basil pesto.  Other than a few licks from the spatula as I was cleaning up, I haven't tried this yet "in context."  I'm giving it its time to "age."  I'll give you a full report once I have explored all of the possibilities.



Pastries, Pies, and Tarts on Sifted Together

Blueper B and The Turtle Creek Chorale on Blueper B's Blueprints