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Peeling Celery, and Other Semi-Useless Things


weinoo
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Confession - I often peel (okay, remove the "strings" from) celery, especially when it's going onto a crudité platter. For that matter, I never serve raw broccoli, cauliflower, string beans or any other vegetable that's better cooked if I'm doing crudités - I think they suck raw. I'll salt radishes and carrots, too.

 

I think it makes for a slightly, or even more than slighty, classier presentation.

 

Do you do any of this stuff?  Or anything else that might make the mundane special?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I love broccoli, green beans and the like raw...but it has to be either very young and tender or a good naturally tender cultivar.

Same in regard to celery, there are cultivars that are naturally tender with no need for peeling (stringy celery just plain SUCKS).....blanching (the cultivation technique not the cooking technique) also improves tenderness and retards any possible bitterness.

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Confession - I often peel (okay, remove the "strings" from) celery, especially when it's going onto a crudité platter. For that matter, I never serve raw broccoli, cauliflower, string beans or any other vegetable that's better cooked if I'm doing crudités - I think they suck raw. I'll salt radishes and carrots, too.

I think it makes for a slightly, or even more than slighty, classier presentation.

Do you do any of this stuff? Or anything else that might make the mundane special?

I remember many years ago reading that vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and carrots should be blanched and shocked in icewater before being put on a crudités platter. I remember equally well the praise of my guests. What I don't remember is how I learned this. I think it was in a magazine such as Bon Appétit or Gourmet. I also string my celery. Edited by Smithy
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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I love broccoli, green beans and the like raw...but it has to be either very young and tender or a good naturally tender cultivar.

 

You're unique...even young and tender, I find broc and green beans need to be blanched.

 

I remember many years ago reading that vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and carrots should be blanched and shocked in icewater before being put on a crudités platter. I remember equally well the praise of my guests. What I don't remember is how I learned this. I think it was in a magazine such as Bon Appétit or Gourmet. I also string my celery.

I saw so many platters of raw vegetables all those years I lived in California.  They are so much better blanched. Might've been Jacques or Julia where I first heard it.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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My Uncles restaurant put blanched carrots in his house salad...I thought it was a great idea cause you could pick it up with a fork but it still had crunch.

 

Judie Byrd (http://judiebyrd.com/) makes an Asparagus salad where she pours boiling water over the Asparagus to take away some of the rawness..Its great.

 

ETA: http://www.judiebyrd.com/plugins/recipeDetails.php?id=52 <<the recipe

Edited by GlorifiedRice (log)

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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Crudités are almost always present at my table, because of children. I always peel celery and peppers and discard (save for fish stock) the outer leaves of fennels, or peel if they feel fresh and crunchy. I cut and put in salted iced water radishes when I use. I completely agree on the broccoli, green beans, asparagus, cauliflower raw are not for us. Cauliflower rice, raw, dressed like puntarelle is interesting. I even peel cucumbers...I dislike the idea of eating wax.

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I do like raw veggies, and I don't string or peel celery. It's a negative calorie food, and fiber is good for us.

 

On the few occasions when I get access to sweet peas (almost always have to grow them myself) I pop into my mouth them raw like popcorn.

 

I would be very interested in Prawncracker's description, or better yet, demonstration of how to make those lovely carrot flowers I've enjoyed at Asian restaurants.

 

I have pretty good knife skills and a very precise knife, but carrot flowers seem a bit daunting to me. Carrots are a hard thing to cut into those precise shapes.

 

It wouldn't be wasteful either, as this cook would scarf the raw trimmings as her treat.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Confession - I often peel (okay, remove the "strings" from) celery, especially when it's going onto a crudité platter. For that matter, I never serve raw broccoli, cauliflower, string beans or any other vegetable that's better cooked if I'm doing crudités - I think they suck raw. I'll salt radishes and carrots, too.

 

I think it makes for a slightly, or even more than slighty, classier presentation.

 

Do you do any of this stuff?  Or anything else that might make the mundane special?

 

Getting away from the raw vegetables, I always do a fine brunoise for the onions, carrots, celeriac and garlic in a bolognese sauce.  It's therapeutic and looks better :)

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I have several foibles of this type, of which perhaps the most unusual is an aversion to tomatillo seeds.  To the extent that many years ago I got a 1 mm disk for my food mill (at the time, hard to find) just so I could remove them from purees.

 

That said, peeling or removing strings from celery seems weird to me.

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Crudités are almost always present at my table, because of children. I always peel celery and peppers and discard (save for fish stock) the outer leaves of fennels, or peel if they feel fresh and crunchy. I cut and put in salted iced water radishes when I use. I completely agree on the broccoli, green beans, asparagus, cauliflower raw are not for us. Cauliflower rice, raw, dressed like puntarelle is interesting. I even peel cucumbers...I dislike the idea of eating wax.

For sure I will peel the waxed cucumber but the English one which is not waxed I almost always peel to leave alternate strips of peeled and unpeeled. Sometimes I will score them with a fork just to give them a little interest.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I've always suspected that I am weird.  This thread confirms it :)

 

I like raw broccoli.  I like raw asparagus--when it's young and tender straight from my garden.  

 

I don't know if this qualifies as taking mundane and making it special, but in my lettuce salads I like to toast pine nuts and add them in.

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I agree with Thanks for the Crepes. Celery is nutritionally vapid. The strings, as fiber, are one of its few redeeming qualities. I leave the strings alone.

I do appreciate blanched crudités when I encounter them though I'm too lazy to do it for myself.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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......when it's young and tender straight from my garden.  

 

Yep!

Perfect!

No fuss!

No whining!

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I've always suspected that I am weird.  This thread confirms it :)

 

I like raw broccoli.  I like raw asparagus--when it's young and tender straight from my garden.  

 

I don't know if this qualifies as taking mundane and making it special, but in my lettuce salads I like to toast pine nuts and add them in.

The key phrase here is "straight from my garden". I can't think of anything that I grow that I don't love to eat raw and fresh. Very few peas even make it into the house. I'm not sure my husband knows that I grow them. (I don't think I would eat raw eggplant but I've given up on that due to flea beetles.) Wonderful fresh and raw vegetables are one of the things I miss most in the winter. I am growing cardoon this year - not sure if that would be eatable raw.

Elaina

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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. I am growing cardoon this year - not sure if that would be eatable raw.

Elaina

The raw cardoon that is eaten in bagna cauda is the cardo gobbo from nizza monferrato.

Also some artichokes are very good raw, not all of them, like the spiky Sardinians.

I'm sure, right from the garden I would eat a lot of vegetables raw which I normally don't. Lucky you. This year at most I'll grow cucumbers and salads.

Speaking of cardoons, made me think how much I miss wild cardoons...

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Thanks for the Crepes and Franci - I have never eaten or cooked cardoons as they are not available in markets in my area. I was intrigued by the description in the seed catalog. (In January in upstate NY, seed catalogs drive me crazy - all those pictures of vegetables and flowers when everything outside is buried in snow.) I may ask for recipe advice come harvest time.

Elaina

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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Elaina

I may ask for recipe advice come harvest time.

 

You are lucky! When cardoons are not tender you can boil them to death and they will stay hard and be very stringy. But when they are nice and tender they are wonderful. You can blanch and dip in a batter and deep fry. You can make parmigiana with cardi. Blanch and saute' with garlic and anchovies.

There is a wonderful soup from Abruzzo with cardoons that is called brodo alla celestina, We also make something a similar in Puglia with wild cardoons and lamb or we cooked the cardoons in the oven with some previously beaten eggs, stock and a lot of pecorino, leaving it very soft. Tons of delicious recipes.

Edited by Franci (log)
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Jacques Pépin on peeling asparagus..."If I had told them to peel the asparagus, I probably would have been assassinated."  :smile: 

Starting at about 5:10....

 

 

 

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Celery is nutritionally vapid.

 

Excuse me?

Celery is a rich source of phenolic phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These phytonutrients include: caffeic acid, caffeoylquinic acid, cinnamic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, kaempferol, lunularin, beta-sitosterol and furanocoumarins. Celery is an excellent source of vitamin K and molybdenum. It is a very good source of folate, potassium, dietary fiber, manganese, and pantothenic acid. Celery is also a good source of vitamin B2, copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids).

 

Celery also contains approximately 35 milligrams of sodium per stalk, so salt-sensitive individuals can enjoy celery, but should keep track of this amount when monitoring daily sodium intake.

 

 

For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Celery.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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