Get down and dirty in the garden
Patsy Bell Hobson is blogging at Oh Grow Up! When not in the garden or on the road, find her in southern Missouri USA. Read more travel stories at Striped Pot. Find more garden, travel and random rants on her Facebook.
Cutting leaf celery (Apium graveolens 'Amsterdam Seasoning') is a dark green European celery variety grown for its leaves. This type of celery does not have the thick stalks familiar to those of us in the United States.
Keep this herb close by the kitchen door. Once you try it, you
will find endless ways to use cutting leaf celery.
This herb was new to me until I tried growing it from seed (thanks to Renee's Garden). Now it grows on the patio outside my kitchen door, standing tall and ready for a quick trim whenever I am cooking.
This biennial is a great plant for containers and a perfect addition to herb garden borders. Plant it where it can grow in partial sun and keep the soil moist. Unlike the more familiar thick-stemmed celery, this cutting leaf celery doesn't need to be planted in trenches, hilled or blanched. Grow the flavor of celery in less space. Also, leave a few plants in the garden to see if they over winter; next year they will grow big and fast, quickly blooming and going to seed.
As an Italian parsley look-a-like, cutting celery is perfect in soups and marinades. Trust me when I say that a little goes a long way—this variety has a stronger flavor than the stalks we are used to seeing.
Use chopped leaves as a garnish on a chilled bowl of tomato gazpacho. You can also add its leaves to a potato salad or slaw. Or, a tall stem with the beautiful lacy green leaves would be a pretty stirrer in a tomato cocktail.
Cutting leaf celery is a very mild version of the the more common
vegetable. Sprinkle a few leaves on potato salad or over tomato slices.
To preserve for later, dry its leaves. The celery flavor holds up better than dried parsley or basil. Dry in a food dehydrator, air dry, or dry in a solar dry; do not use the microwave. I put cutting leaf celery leaves in plastic ice cube trays, top them with broth or water and freeze. Later, I put the cubes in a plastic zipper bag and keep them frozen. Next winter, I can grab a cube or two and drop it into a pot of soup, sauce or a stew. The possibilities are endless!
Seed Packet Giveaway
Find cutting leaf celery in garden seed catalogs. I got mine at Renee's Garden. Read Renee's Blog, or go to Renee's Garden to order seeds. There are great how-tos and gardening tips on Renee's website. Renee's Garden is giving away cutting leaf celery seed to three lucky Herb Companion readers. Winners will be selected randomly from comments. Good luck!
HOW TO ENTER
• Post a comment telling us how you use or plan to use cutting leaf celery.
• End date: June 4, 2012 (12:00 a.m. Central Time) UPDATE: Time's up!
The winners have been contacted. They were chosen using Random.org. Thanks to everyone who entered my Garden Giveaway! Watch out for even more giveaways.
Thanks again to Renee's Garden.