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Old 08-29-2007, 03:46 PM   #1
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Do you use celery leaves in veggie stock?

Yesterday, right by my work, a little farmer's market sprang up. I had never seen it before, so I walked over and bought some veggies (turns out that they had only been there for a week, and I had been on vacation). Anyway, I bought some veggies from them, including celery.

The celery was darker than I was used to, and more bitter than any celery I'd ever had. Not unpleasant, just different. It also wasn't as crisp as those that I typically buy in a supermarket. I figured it's just a different "strain" or something.

I was making a vegetable stock, and I did not use the celery's leaves...later on, reading through some recipe books, I came across something that said to use veggies, their leaves, skins, etc when making stock. I tasted the celery leaves and they were even more bitter than the stalks (which, again, were more bitter and were darker than the usual stuff I buy)...

Do you guys usually use the leaves of the celery? I wasn't sure if it would add little something to the stock, or if it's typically a no-no, if there are any other uses for it, etc...

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Old 08-29-2007, 03:49 PM   #2
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I almost always use celery leaves in my stocks. As a matter of fact, when I use celery for other dishes and have leaves leftover I pop them into a plastic bag and keep them in the freezer. Whenever I need some for stocks and/or soups I always have some on hand.
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:58 PM   #3
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how much would you use? I was making around 2 quarts of stock. I think I used something like 3 stalks of celery...I imagine too much of the leaves would have overpowered the stock...
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:21 PM   #4
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The celery was darker than I was used to, and more bitter than any celery I'd ever had. Not unpleasant, just different. It also wasn't as crisp as those that I typically buy in a supermarket. I figured it's just a different "strain" or something.
I wonder if it was a little old. When we grow fresh lettuce, we have to harvest it all before it bolts (throws up flower stalks). As soon as it does that, the leaves get very bitter; at that point, we pull them up and throw them away.

re: the crispness, it was probably a little dehydrated, so to speak. You can fix this by soaking it in water for 15 minutes or so. This is why supermarkets spray veggies with water periodically.

But yes, I use the leaves in stock.
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:29 PM   #5
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I scrub potatoes and carrots before peeling then put the peelings in a zip loc bag. I do the same with onions, pop the bag in the freezer and add to it from time to time. Celery leaves are a must. When I have a bag full, I make veggie broth. Excellent!!! The peelings contain a lot of nutrients and tons of flavor.
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:30 PM   #6
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I almost always use celery leaves in my stocks. As a matter of fact, when I use celery for other dishes and have leaves leftover I pop them into a plastic bag and keep them in the freezer. Whenever I need some for stocks and/or soups I always have some on hand.
I also do that! I use celery leaves or celery for almost every stock.
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:41 PM   #7
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I would rather have the leaves for seasoning purposes than the celery itself!
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:27 PM   #8
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The problem with home-grown &/or farmers' market celery is that unlike commercial growers, folks rarely take the trouble to blanch it while it grows. Blanching is what makes it not only a lighter color, but also tender & not bitter. Blanching isn't difficult to do, but it does add yet another chore to the home gardener's list & does need regular checking to avoid rot & other problems, especially if the blanching is done by heaping soil or mulch up around the stalks.

As far as the lack of crispness, that was definitely the result of the celery being without moisture for more than it should have been. Market celery should be sold on ice, from a cooler, or standing up in a bin with a few inches of cool clean water in the bottom.
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:56 PM   #9
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thanks for all the great responses :-)
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:18 PM   #10
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Breezy knows her stuff about the celery.
I grew it a few years, but our hot weather is pretty hard on it, and I had a greenhouse to run. Still, I got plenty to cook with. I had an older friend who grew it all the time, though. He had an irrigation system built, and rigged up shade cloth to protect his tender plants during really hot weather. But even he didn't bother to blanch it.
I like home garden celery...it's kind of strong and peppery, and good in soups.. But it's definitely not sweet and tender like the blanched kind.
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