Does anyone out there know who decides which events, foods, people will be celebrated each month of the year? I ask because March is National Celery Month. (It is also Nutritional Health Awareness month, Women’s History month, and frozen foods month.) Why does celery deserve a whole month of celebration?
Personally I get it. This blog owes its existence to celery (or rather our lack of it) when we lived in Japan and pined for days when we could buy more than one stalk of celery at a time. Silly us. Now in Los Angeles, we always looking for new ways to use a full head of celery before it goes limp.
After all, there has to be more to celery than mirepoix and hors d’oeuvres?
Moving beyond Ants on a Log
Last March, Jean-Francois wrote about a surprisingly refreshing tall glass of celery. What he did not mention Pepsi’s attempt to market cucumber soda in Japan for a week or two. And Dr. Browns sells a celery soda. Maybe drinking celery (and cucumbers) might be fun way to bring out our Irish this week.
Celery is crunchy, naturally salty, and nutritious. It can be grilled, pureed, creamed, steamed, fried, pickled, infused, baked, and braised. Huffington Post has some fun ideas for celery, including a salsa with green olives and mint.
Yesterday, cooking for one, I attempted to make celery and mushroom ravioli. If you are vegan, try substituting wet okara or soy-cheese for the egg and cheese.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 chopped onion
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 5 button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
- Salt to taste
- 1 egg, beaten
- 6 wonton wrappers
- Heat olive oil in skillet.
- Add onions and celery. Cook until translucent.
- Add mushrooms and salt. Cook until all water evaporates.
- Transfer onions, celery and mushrooms to food processor. Add cheese and egg and blend into a paste.
- Put about 1 teaspoon of paste in each wrapper. Use water or egg to seal the wrappers.
- Cook ravioli in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.
I ate these bundles with a lemon butter sauce. However, I have no photo to share because I ate them in 3 minutes flat. But I will try this again, maybe adding nuts to the filling to help give the meal more weight. And I will take a photo.
In January, The New York Times published five celery recipes that put my creative effort to shame. I can’t wait to try the “Pan-Cooked Celery with Tomatoes and Parsley” and “Celery Risotto with Dandelion Greens or Kale”.
Healthy Family, a blog dedicated to living organically and healthfully, also shares four celery recipes for March, including a breakfast drink, a soup, a salad, and a treat with salmon.
By the way, 22 March is World Water Day. May we all slake our thirst and raise our passions with a stick of celery, an ice cube, and Betty Friedan.
Hi Bonnie Lee, i really didn’t know it was celery month :)
I’ve been following this blog for a few months so I was really glad when Jean-Francois said you’d start writing too as I really like this blog :)
Thank you! I am neither the photographer nor the chef that Jean-Francois is, but I will do my best to keep him looking good.
We can totally do that! Must find some wonton wrappers though. Might have to go to a specialty shop for it. Bet my kids eat ’em up — even the one who doesn’t like mushrooms. We will use okara and cheese subs, being vegan. Thanks for that tip. :)
The other day, I was browsing in an international depanneur in Redondo Beach that I just happened on while getting shoes repaired. The owners are from the Middle East and most of the goodies catered to Turkish and Palestinian fare. (I wasn’t shopping, but saw many new spice mixes that I photographed with my phone to learn more about later.) But, in the freezer section they had an assortment of doughs, including wonton wrappers. What caught my attention were pastry squares (not phyllo) that looked thicker than wontons, but thinner than pie dough. I think they were 4″ squares. The language on the packaging was unfamiliar to me, but used the Western alphabet with a few other characters added. If you cannot find wonton wrappers, you may be able to find another simple solution from another part of the world. I can investigate further if you are interested.
My mind has been running away with ideas since seeing those squares. They are the right size for samosas, pot pies, and turnovers–all ways to save produce that is starting to wilt.
I’ll put my Korean sushi chef on it. She’s the one who keeps me stocked with vegan miso (no fish adds) from Japan that she gets from a little market where she lives. I bet she’ll know where I can find some. Thanks!
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