What on Earth is Celery Salt?

Do you have a jar of celery salt in your cabinet? Maybe one you bought years ago and forgot was there? It's something often used in spice blends like Old Bay Seasoning and it's a critical ingredient in a good Bloody Mary. It's not of one of the seasonings that makes our list of must-haves, but maybe it should. If you've never used it, or don't know exactly what it is, we've got the details on this often overlooked but always appreciated seasoning.

What is celery salt?

Celery salt is two ingredients: ground celery seed and salt. That's it. Some recipes use dried celery leaves or celery stalks, too, but most often it's just celery seed.

What does it taste like?

Saying it tastes like celery is a little too simple, because the taste of celery itself is hard to describe. It's a little grassy and a little spicy; add that to the salt and you get a nice bite of flavor that's not overpowering but definitely adds to any recipe. If you don't like the texture of celery in your food, try using this seasoning instead for the same celery flavor.

How is celery salt used?

You can use this seasoning in any dish where you would use celery, but also in any dish where you would start out with other aromatics like onion and carrots. Try it in any creamy dish, including deviled eggs, coleslaw, potato salad, and egg salad. It's also traditional on Chicago-style hot dogs. Include it in your other homemade seasoning blends. And, of course, rim your Bloody Mary glass with celery salt, no matter what Bloody Mary recipe you use.

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Really, you can use this seasoning on just about anything from popcorn to cream cheese to pasta to veggies to eggs.

Homemade celery salt recipe

Making your own celery salt is one of the easiest DIY kitchen hacks. Use one part celery seed to two parts salt. You can use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind up the celery seed; if you're making a big batch (it makes a great DIY hostess gift placed in a cute jar), you can use a food processor. Then mix the crushed celery seed with sea salt, kosher salt or regular table salt. Store in an airtight container.

If you can't find celery seed or if you're cooking with celery and have a bunch of celery leaves left over, you can dry those leaves (200 degree oven, single layer of celery leaves on parchment paper on a baking sheet, cook for about 20 minutes, let cook and then crumble up) and mix them with salt. Use about a cup of fresh leaves with about 1/4 cup of salt.

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