Cutting celery, also known as leaf celery or Chinese celery, is a miniature version of traditional celery, primarily used for its herbaceous leaves.
Like traditional celery, cutting celery descended from a wild marsh plant native to the Mediterranean region. The leaves were used medicinally as far back as 850 B.C.– Confucius wrote documented celery leaves as a soothing digestive aid. Starting in the 16th century, French and Italian gardeners bred sweeter-tasting cutting celery, which became a standard ingredient of classic pâté de campagne and was also used to flavor shellfish and seafood dishes.
Celery leaves are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate, potassium, calcium, and manganese.
Cut stems of celery, put them into a jar with 1 to 2 inches of water, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Alternatively, wrap celery leaves in a paper towel and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
The strong herbaceous taste of cutting celery makes it perfect for use in stock and soups. Chopped cutting celery leaves can be added for a burst of flavor in salads, grain bowls, legumes, pork, and chicken, as well as tuna or egg salad. It is a common ingredient added to both Greek and Chinese dishes, and pairs well with the bright flavors of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and leafy greens, as well as ginger, garlic, basil, and mint.
While fresh cutting celery may appear somewhat limp, it has no bearing on flavor and freshness. Taste before using, as the flavor is significantly stronger than leaves from traditional celery.