A ½ gallon jar of celery salt
We use a lot of celery salt in our cooking for several reasons. The first is that neither my son nor my husband likes celery as a vegetable. I love it and the only way I can get the flavor into foods is by using celery salt. They don’t mind that.
The second reason is it brings the taste umami to whatever we cook, enhancing the flavors.
The third reason is I am supposed to eat a lot of salt and this is a nice way to encourage that. Altogether we use about a ½ gallon jar of it a year.
I discovered that making my own celery salt with the whole plant, instead of just the seeds as store bought does, brought the flavor to a whole new level. Plus it gave it this gorgeous green color vs the dead brown of store bought.
Celery August 2011 (the last year I used row cover…)
This area used to be a huge celery growing area decades ago so it does well here. I grow a lot of it to make sure I have enough for eating and for processing into salt.
Last harvest of celery October 2017
I typically leave the harvesting and making of dehydrated celery until later in the fall. Celery will survive mild frosts.
I wash it thoroughly and cut away any bad bits.
With the dehydrating tray ready with a non-stick sheet, I start blending up the celery, using just enough water to make a very thick slurry. The blender is about ⅔ full, just enough for 1 tray.
I immediately pour it onto the sheet and slide the tray into the dehydrator. The water starts to separate out instantly and will leak all over if the tray is tilted. (Your dehydrator needs to be level also….)
I set the temperature for 145F for 1 hour then lower it to 95F until the slurry is bone dry all the way through.
I blend the dried slurry into a fine powder the instant it comes out of the dehydrator. If left sitting, it will begin absorbing moisture from the air and you risk mold. Then I vacuum seal the jar with a FoodSaver.
I use sea salt and blend up the salt with the powder, tasting as I go. It takes a lot of powder to a much smaller amount of salt. I don’t have a recipe, just go by taste.
Once the salt has been added, at least here in New England, I no longer need to seal the jars. I use non-reactive covers for storing the salt.
The finished product.