I hate waste. I try hard to compost all my green waste and to have as little as possible in the first place. Even our 8 year old will diligently put compostables in the bucket outside, recyclables in the right bin and ask me if things can be used in some other way.
Lots of things get popped in the freezer for a rainy day. All kinds of bits and pieces get stuffed into my tiny freezer - single egg yolks, bits of cookie dough, small pieces of leftover pastry, pizza dough and single bananas that have seen better days. Often I can identify them later… sometimes… well it’s more a case of defrost it and see what it was that I didn’t label.
One of the things that regularly makes it into my freezer is celery tops. They are a great addition to stocks and soups and add a wonderful flavour. I peeked in my freezer today after cutting up my bunch of celery and noticed that the bag that I have with celery tops in it was totally full. Not another leaf would fit.
I couldn’t bring myself to compost it knowing it was totally edible. So after giving my 23 year old a lecture on people starving in other parts of the world - (he was snickering at his mother contemplating what to use celery leaves for and yes your children are never too old to lecture on certain topics) I set about making some celery salt with the leftover leaves.
I used a lovely flaky salt from Marlborough to mix with the toasted
Really this could not be more simple.
- Celery leaves
- Celery Seeds (optional)
Preheat your oven to 150C/300F
Pull the leaves of the celery free from the stalks and place in a baking dish lined with parchment. I used one with sides - which I think in hindsight was a good idea - it made it easier to move the leaves about.
Place your leaves in oven, stir with a fork every 5 minutes or so. You want your leaves to be dry and crisp with no moisture left. You don’t want them to be toasted and brown though so keep an eye on them.
Once dried remove from the oven and crumble. If you are using celery seeds grind a few with a mortar and pestle and add in with the salt.
Place in with the salt in the proportions you like- easy as that.
Some other combinations you might like to try - celery and chilli or celery and lemon zest. Both are great additions to fish - and the celery and lemon - lovely with fish.
Use to season dishes - don’t go overboard though - remember it is salt.
If you have other uses for celery leaves - I’d love to know about them.