Homemade Celery Salt

I used to dislike celery so much that I would pick it off whatever I'm eating that has it or simply would not make anything with it. I don't like eating it cooked, specially not raw.

But now, it belongs to the category of food "I used to hate but now can't live without". The list includes eggplant, bell peppers and wansoy. But that's for an entirely different post.

Anyway, I was preparing the celery last night for freezing by cutting off the leaves and just leaving the stem behind like I usually do. But the celery leaves looks kind of nice and has a nice green color to it (they look so healthy) and I can't bear to just throw it away. So I went online and searched for other uses for celery leaves.

Apparently, it's too bitter for salad, but if you chop it up into tiny bits, it adds flavor to it. So that's one idea. You can also use it for soup stock. I normally just use the stem. The most intriguing one is to make celery salt out of it. Now why didn't I think of that? I actually haven't thought of mixing some herbs with salt and I should have.

So as instructed (recipe from 101cookbooks.com), I placed them in a baking sheet and dried them after washing. You would want to really dry them first because I had some leaves sticking to my baking sheet after because they were wet. Set the oven at 180C (350F) and bake until dehydrated for 5-7 minutes. You have to watch it carefully. The first batch I did had very brown bits of leaves that when I crushed them and had a taste, it tasted like ash. When I did it the second time, I'm still not satisfied with the outcome. You want it to be barely toasted but not overly brown.

Once it cooled, crush them with your fingers and throw them in with a couple of tablespoons sea salt or kosher salt. It's best with grainy salt and not the powdery one.

I tested it today with chicken and it really added a different flavor to the dish. I read that it's best for beef, since celery brings out its flavor.

Will have to try other mixed salt next time. Just think of all those wasted ingredients like lemon and orange peel!


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