Pickled Celery

31 January 2024 Dairy Free Gluten Free Vegetarian Friendly
Pickle lovers unite! And celery haters don't go anywhere....this one is for you. I see you turning away from those stalks that underpin all the flavour in your favourite soups, sauces and braises as you question their mere existence. And I dare you to try these little crunchy pieces of pickled delight.

I know I am not alone in my excitement at this time of year when gorgeous big leafy bunches of juicy celery are all around ready to chop into the bases of all those winter warmers. But once the soup is bubbling away, there’s often still an abundance of stalks left in the fridge, leaving all my fellow waste haters in a little conundrum.  How many stalks can we possibly enjoy schmeared with peanut butter?

Cue the trusty pickle. Especially this one. Because pickling celery takes all the celery-ness out of the stalks and leaves super crunchy, super punchy super more-ish, slightly sweet and not too sharp jewel to add to salads, grains, sandwiches, snacks, sauces, a cocktail accompaniment….you get the idea.  

Like all the best quick pickles this takes moments to make and happily lives in the fridge for weeks making it a win win all around.  And the celery leaves make a welcome and wonderful addition to salads (especially on those days when you run out of lettuce).  

Excess celery crisis over, pickle lovers rejoice, those who are celery averse, you might have a new love.  January isn’t all gloom and doom. 

Note: I generally use rice vinegar in my quick pickle liquors because I prefer the mellow flavour, but feel free to use cider or white wine vinegar if you prefer.  Also, feel free to play around with the aromatics – juniper berries, lemon or orange zest strips or fresh ginger slices would also work well if you want to shake things up from one batch to the next.

Pickled Celery

  • 4 celery stalks
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) rice vinegar 
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns (or pink if you have any)

Slice the celery stalks into approximately 1 cm pieces.  I do this on the diagonal because they are a little more visually appealing – looks help you know! Place the slices in a clean jar with a lid. 

In a small pan, combine the rice vinegar, water and all the aromatics. Bring to a gentle boil. Once the salt and sugar are fully dissolved, pour the liquor over the sliced celery and allow to cool.  If the pieces are not fully submerged, top up with a splash more water.  

Allow to cool, cover and place in the fridge.  The pickle will be ready in 3-4 hours but will taste better the next day and will last for upto 4 weeks in the fridge. 

Have you made this dish?

Let me know what you think, share your efforts and any tweaks you made to the recipe on Instagram, don’t forget to tag #BuildingFeasts or email me on info@buildingfeasts.com