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Make A Crunchy Salad Base With Leftover Celery Stalks

Chopped celery stalks in a bowl on a cutting board
Chopped celery stalks in a bowl on a cutting board - Sakoodter Stocker/Shutterstock

Whether you're adding pieces of celery to a wing platter or using it for soup, there's probably going to be a few leftover stems that don't make it into your food. While you might swear that the stalks will get used up later on, they often take up space in the fridge, only pulled out again once they've gone bad. Rather than letting your celery spoil, use the leftover stalks for a crunchy salad base.

Unless you're juicing regularly or making vegetable stock once a week, purchasing a whole head of celery at the store often comes with the knowledge that part of it will eventually end up in the trash. In an effort to minimize food waste, finding ways to make use of your remaining celery stalks is a great way to explore the multifaceted nature of the vegetable. While you may regard the cut up pieces as scrap, their crisp texture and unique flavor make the perfect salad base.

Each bite of celery is welcomed by a burst of a mildly sweet, peppery flavor, almost similar to anise. Followed by an earthy, bitter aftertaste, the fibrous vegetable lends a load of flavor to salads. After cutting up the remaining stalks, place them in a bowl and add the salad toppings. Since celery provides tons of texture, you can focus on bulking up your salad with softer ingredients like cheese, berries, or dried fruit. Then, toss everything in a creamy dressing and enjoy.

Read more: 21 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Rice

Try Out These Celery Stalk Salad Ideas

Hands cutting celery stalks for a salad
Hands cutting celery stalks for a salad - Skynesher/Getty Images

Eating celery with Buffalo wings is a quintessential American activity. Why not enjoy the taste of sharp, spicy Buffalo wings cooled by the refreshing bite of celery in the form of a salad? Marinate chicken breast in salt, pepper, onion powder, and chili powder or shred up some rotisserie chicken instead. Chop the celery into small pieces and mix them with diced cherry tomatoes and chopped red onions. Then, mix the chicken, celery, tomatoes, and onions together and toss everything with a creamy dressing of Buffalo sauce and ranch dressing, topping it off with crumbled blue cheese.

Celery is a blend of delicate, earthy, sharp, and bitter flavors. You can balance it with sweet raisins and a handful of savory feta pieces. Add a cup of soft, buttery pecans to the mix and drizzle a creamy buttermilk dressing on top. Made of buttermilk, Greek yogurt, thyme, tarragon, dill, and a splash of lemon juice, this tangy salad is best enjoyed with a cozy meal of spinach and tomato-stuffed chicken breast.

You can also swap out orzo for celery to make a hearty Mediterranean salad. After finely chopping the celery, toss it with chopped Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, feta, minced red onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and mint. Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, drizzle olive oil and red wine vinegar into the bowl and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour before eating.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.