Celery consists of long, slender green stalks that surround a pale green central "heart", all joined at the bulbous base. Crisp, fresh raw celery enlivens salads and snacks, while cooked celery adds delicate texture to soups, stews, and stocks. The leaves, trimmed from the stalks, can be reserved to flavor stocks. Select moist, rigid stalks and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Dried celery seeds are used whole as a seasoning.
Separate celery ribs and rinse thoroughly as dirt is often lodged between the ribs. To serve raw or in cooked dishes, simply cut to desire length.
Celery should be refrigerated in a plastic bag and placed in the crisper for up to two weeks. If the ribs are wilted, separate the ribs and place them in a bowl of ice water for several minutes before use.
Martha Stewart recommends wrapping celery in tin foil rather than plastic to keep longer.