Do you know what happens when you slice up little half-moons of celery and then dry them in the oven?
You can see the shape and size of the original celery slice, marked out on the tinfoil underneath. It’s amazing how much it shrinks – though I suppose we all know that celery is just crunchy water.
Whenever I buy a head of celery, I find a lot of it goes to waste. I’ll generally use one or two sticks of it in whatever recipe I’m making, and the rest sits around in the fridge getting progressively more limp and more sad until I put it in the bin with a great sense of guilt. I tried ‘planting’ a head in a glass of water, once, but all that happened was that it got more slowly limp at the top, and rotted from the bottom.
So, last time I decided to try making celery powder, after the success of my tomato powder experiment. The celery went in a low oven – about 50C – for somewhere between one and two hours. I think it was ready after just one. Then, the resulting caterpillars were ground in my spice grinder.
The powder was a bit lumpy here and there, so I sifted it:
…and discarded the clumps.
That’s that! Celery powder, no bother at all. I imagine it can be used in any situation that calls for celery salt, including gravies, seasoning mixes and the rim of a Bloody Ceasar glass.
The trick to maintaining a green colour is blanching the celery sticks before slicing and dehydrating. I think mine could have gone a little longer in the boiling water, this colour is right at the edge of khaki and bordering on tan. Still, it smells and tastes of celery, and I didn’t throw any food in the bin.
That, my friends, is what we call a result.