Celery seed (Recipe: chicken salad with mustard sauce and lovage)
Adapted in part from the archives, updated with a new recipe, photos and links.
If it weren't for potato salad and pickles, my celery seed would be toast.
All winter, it sits on the spice rack, pushed farther and farther to the rear of the shelf.
In summer, when I'm ready to make pickles and potato salad (Why only in summer? I don't know.), I retrieve the celery seed, dust off the jar, use a few teaspoons here and there, and send it back to its place. Every other year or so, I throw out the mostly-full but decidedly less-zesty spice, buy a new jar, and start the cycle again.
Time to admit that maybe celery seed shouldn't be in The Perfect Pantry? Time to broaden my culinary repertoire?
Time to start drinking Bloody Marys?
What is celery seed?
The light-brown seed of Apium graveolens, a marsh plant called smallage or wild celery. It's not the seed of the celery stalk you get in a Bloody Mary, but it tastes like celery.
How/where to store:
In a dark part of the pantry, in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, for up to two years.
More facts about celery seed, and ingredient photos, in The Perfect Pantry:
Celery seed (Recipe: refrigerator zucchini pickles)
Chicken salad with mustard sauce and lovage
Start with a rotisserie chicken from the market to make this salad quick and easy, or use any leftover cooked chicken you have on hand. If you don't have lovage in your garden, you can use celery leaves. The salad tastes best if made at least 30 minutes ahead, but you can make it and refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serves 4.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cooked (roasted, poached, grilled, etc.)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Country Dijon or other grainy Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp celery seed
2 Tbsp chopped lovage leaves (or celery leaves)
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
Chop the chicken breasts into 1/2-inch cubes, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add the chicken, and toss well to combine.
Cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and up to several hours. Let it warm up for a few minutes before serving.
Other recipes that use celery seed:
Egg salad, from 101 Cookbooks
Mayonnaiseless coleslaw, from Use Real Butter
Celery seed vinaigrette, from Lottie + Doof
Chicken and shredded cabbage salad with mustard and celery seed, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Lemony creamy Brussels sprouts and celery, from A Veggie Venture