The green or yellow varieties of celery are available all year round and are plentiful in summer, but it's the frost-hardy white celery that is available only in winter.
Celery should have crisp long stems attached to a sound base and the leaves should be vibrant and green. It should have tightly packed, firm heads with no brown patches on the outer layers.
Celery stalks need to be cut away from the base and washed thoroughly. Serve trimmed stalks raw with cheese, or chopped into salads to add a refreshing crisp bite. Chopped celery can also be used to flavour stuffing, soups, sauces and stews, or added to a bouquet garni and used in stock. Whole young stalks can be steamed or boiled. White celery is a most useful winter vegetable which, at a time when fresh herbs are scarce, can also be used to garnish and flavour dishes.