Minnesota Cooking: An Easy Way to Dice Celery
Celery is a plant, and usually when you purchase it, you are buying the entire plant. It is connected at the bottom, and there is a leafy top.
The leafy top is not edible, so you must discard the leaves. At least, that is what I have been told. They contain traces of oxalic acid and can be toxic to humans. Only use the stalk in your cooking.
So break off a stalk near where they are all connected. You will notice that the main part of your stalk is green and that the end is white in color. Trim off the end of the stalk as close to the green as possible.
You'll find step-by-step picture instructions below!
1) Rinse Stalk
Since this is the entire plant, you will need to rinse some dirt from the bottom of the stalk. This is done by running cool water over the stalk and maybe rubbing stubborn pieces until they fall off.
2) Start Dividing the Long Way
Take a sharp knife and begin by splitting the stalk down the middle. Start at one end and cut from one end to the other.
You will divide each piece the long way three or four times.
3) Cut in Half
Cut the now divided stalk in half. Slide the bunch of strips around themselves and line up the ends. Cut in half again. Slide the bunch around.
You will now have a lot of pieces stacked together.
4) Cut Across
Now, holding the stack and keeping your fingers out of the way, slice across the stack of split stalks, cutting a thin path across the end. This will result in many small bits of celery.
Continue across the bundle of stalks until you reach the other end. You may have to cut the individual pieces one by one at this time. Just be careful and do not cut yourself.