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This quick pickled celery recipe is perfect for your organic celery you want to preserve. You can use it in salads, soups, casseroles, and more.
We love pickling over here.
We pickle cucumbers.
And even jalapenos.
No southern cook’s repertoire is complete without the pickle.
Homegrown celery is usually more flavorful than your typical store-bought kind. Celery requires about 16 weeks of cool weather before harvesting. Living in the south, where we have warm spring and summer seasons, the best time to plant celery is in late summer to harvest in late fall or early winter.
If you aren’t into gardening or not able to grow your own, purchase fresh celery at a farmer’s market or your favorite grocery store. Be sure to choose the freshest bunch with the most taste and nutrition.
When buying a whole celery bunch, look for bright green leaves. The stalks need to be crisp and green. If the stalks are beginning to shrivel at the top, turn brown or yellow, or feel too soft, skip that bunch and look for a fresher one.
If you’re buying celery hearts, the inner stalks on a celery bunch, look for the same signs of freshness The inner stalks will be a lighter green and have a somewhat milder flavor than the outer stalks.
If you are grabbing a bag of pre-cut celery stalks, look for bright green stalks that feel crisp. Pay close attention to the ends of the stalks. They might be a tad dry and that is fine. Just don’t settle for any that are soft, shriveled, or turning yellow or brown.
What to put your pickled celery with
You can enjoy pickled celery in a variety of ways.
- Chicken, tuna, or egg salad
- A side with hot wings
- Most pasta or chopped salads
- Top a green salad with the pickled celery
- Add the crunchy celery to the top of breakfast eggs or an omelet
- Grain bowl topping
- Serve with potatoes and seared trout
- Use with cold meats and cheese to make a charcuterie board (also works well with some other vegetables and peppers like cucumber, shallot, sweet pepper, and jalapeno!)
Things To Remember When Pickling Vegetables And Fruits
- Use only fresh (not frozen), undamaged, and unspoiled fruits or vegetables.
- Always clean produce thoroughly.
- Cut uniform sizes, ideally small enough to both fit in a jar and keep bite sized for eating purposes.
- Prepare and measure out everything (from brine to veggie or fruit prep) before heating the pickling brine.
- Wash containers and jars well and let air dry. You can put quick pickles in any airtight container, but the jar is classic.
- This is a recipe for refrigerator pickles – they are not intended to be shelf-stable.
By the way, I recommend these mason jars for your pickled goodies!
Boil the vinegar before pickling, here’s why…
Boiling the vinegar makes it hot enough to penetrate the cuke (or whatever is being pickled). It’s the same principle seen in making tea; hot water steeps more intensely than cold.
Careful! Over-boiling causes vinegar’s flavoring and pickling abilities to evaporate.
(You can also pickle with lemon juice, but we’ll cover that another time!)
Read more: how to make 7 day pickles | Family Cuisine