Do you have trouble getting through an entire package of supermarket celery? Here’s your solution. After using the first couple of stalks for your stuffing or tuna salad, pickle the rest of it. Goes great with wings or Bloody Marys.
A bunch of celery
Garlic, a few whole cloves
Red onion, a few slices
Method: Find a big wide mouth jar with a tight fitting lid. Quart canning jars are good, as are recycled pickle containers. Wash the jar thoroughly with soap and hot water and rinse completely; thoroughly wash the celery under cold water. Cut the celery into pieces that are a little shorter than the top of the jar and stuff them in till full. Wedge the garlic and onion slices between the stalks. Prepare a 2% brine with 2 1/2 t Kosher salt to each pint of hot water; stir to dissolve then pour into the celery jar. Repeat until tops are submerged. Cover with a dark cloth and keep in a dark cool place (like a basement) for at least a week, opening and closing the jar daily to release any gases which may accumulate.
The water will turn cloudy and bubbles will start to form in a couple of days, indicating fermentation has begun. When the water starts to clear after about a week, the pickles are ready to sample. If you like them as-is, pour off the water and transfer the pickled stalks to a Ziploc bag; plan to eat and enjoy over the next few days. If you’re willing to have them more sour, keep in the jar a few days longer then transfer as above.
Note: Celery retains its crunch when cold-pickled because the water doesn’t permeate the woody cells. You get celery texture with a nice tang and a hit of the allium which is perfect for wing sauce dipping, Bloody Mary stirring or a plate of crudites.