Homemade Celery Salt

March 31st, 2009  |  Published in All, DIY Food Projects, Most Popular, Succulent Spices, Weekend Projects  |  16 Comments

Celery Salt with Spoon

Hands down, my favorite breakfast is two soft boiled eggs, a touch of butter, a piece or two of good ham or salami, a nice warm crusty roll or some dense wheat bread, and a cup of strong coffee with real cream.  I could eat it every day for the rest of my life.  It’s a typical German breakfast, though I started enjoying it far before I moved here a few months ago.  Pancakes, french toast, waffles… these are all good too, but nothing is as filling, satisfying, or simple as my beloved german breakfast.

I even have a bit of a breakfast ritual.  Two eggs get poked with a pin to prevent breakage, then cooked in barely boiling water for exactly six minutes, then run under cold water for about 20 seconds before being placed in their individual eggs cups, narrow side down.  While the eggs are cooking I arrange about 1/2 – 1T of butter, a little pile of salt, the salami, and the roll (a broetchen in German) on the plate, making it look nice so that I start the day off in the right manner.

With such a ritual, why ever change it?
Well, because you might be a sort-of cookbook addict, and you come across a recipe for something so simple but classic that you decide you must try it immediately.  Such was Fergus Henderson’s Celery Salt with Boiled Eggs in Nose to Tail Eating (I know, celery salt isn’t so “nose-to-tail”, but it does epitomize one idea of that book — that it can be easy to make products that we typically purchase at the store without a second thought… this celery salt is more fresh, more pure, more tasty than what you buy at the supermarket!)

And the result?  I love it!  It adds an earthy complexity to the otherwise clean and bright flavors of egg yolk, salami, and good bread.

If you’re a sweet breakfast type of person, and eggs with celery salt sounds like your anti-breakfast, I’d recommend using this mixture on things like steamed buttered vegetables, as a rub for a piece of poultry or other meat, mixed in to  ground beef for hamburgers, or even mixed into eggs for a savory quiche or tart.

Do you have any breakfast rituals? or any food rituals for that matter?

Homemade Celery Salt
Adapted from The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson
makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 c. sea salt
1 lb peeled celery root (celeriac)

Grate the celery root on the large holes of a box grater, then mix with the salt in a large bowl or ziploc bag. Mix until the salt and celery root are well mingled. Place in the refrigerator and allow the flavors to blend for about three days.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, then spread the celery/salt mixture on a large baking tray. Dry in the oven for between 2 and 3 hours, until the celery root is very dry and crisp, but not singed. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes

Grind the mixture in batches in a spice grinder or all at once in a food processor. Stored in an airtight jar, the mixture will keep indefinitely.

Enjoy with soft boiled eggs, sprinkled over vegetables, rubbed on a steak, or however you please!

Close up celery salt

Jar Celery Salt

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Responses

  1. denise says:

    March 31st, 2009at 5:39 pm(#)

    my grandpa used to make a simple and lovely breakfast for my sister and me. as i remember it…to begin, he’d soft boil one egg and fry one piece of bacon per slice of toast. second, he’d very roughly chop the egg up while it was on top of the toast, spread it around to evenly cover the toast, and sprinkle the egg w/ a little s&p. next he’d crumble the crisp bacon over the top and cut it up into little squares so it would be easy for us to eat (we were tots at the time…). i recall it always being perfectly balanced, just the right amount of egg, bacon, and s&p on each small square of toast. he always burned his toast and bacon, he liked them that way. he was the best grandpa : )

  2. Jen says:

    March 31st, 2009at 10:57 pm(#)

    denise — that’s such a sweet story! and that you still remember it so vividly means it must have left a large imprint on you.
    how are things in SF going? missing rural life? thriving in the bustle?

  3. Joy the Baker says:

    March 31st, 2009at 11:32 pm(#)

    I love the first picture! Just lovely!

  4. denise says:

    April 2nd, 2009at 6:34 am(#)

    SF is okay…excellent coffee…we had a lovely walk in the presidio last week. i often escape to sausalito on the ferry for quiet time, but it’s not the same as being in Point Reyes. i miss our garden and our worms, BUT i planted some carrot seeds in a pot in my bay window and they’ve sprouted. my husband spotted the first sprouts last night! now we’ll have to wait and see if they produce tasty carrots. cross your fingers! how’s germany? is spring bringing you a wider veggie selection?

  5. Jen says:

    April 2nd, 2009at 1:48 pm(#)

    Joy — thanks! I am glad to find your blog too! I am slowly getting better at baking (especially savory things), and your site’s an inspiration. Those Palmier puffs with gruyere and prosciutto look amazing

    denise — it’s all of the sudden springtime in Hannover, which has made things a LOT better. People are out and about, more happy, more lively… and it was basically an overnight change! It’s starting to be asparagus season here too — a huge crop for the area, so I am looking forward to asparagus everything with asparagus sauce with a side of asparagus :)

  6. tiffany @ the garden apartment says:

    April 13th, 2009at 5:59 am(#)

    This is a great idea- I’ve never actually considered making my own celery salt, but I think I now I will have to try it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Mama JJ says:

    April 16th, 2009at 2:23 am(#)

    Your breakfast ritual reminds me of Frances’s lunch ritual. (You’ve read the children’s books about Frances, right?)

    I don’t have much of a breakfast ritual, aside from my coffee which is downright sacred. This morning’s breakfast will be leftover raspberry oat muffins (for me) and Dutch Puff (for the kids)—which I need to go get in the oven right NOW.

  8. Mikey says:

    May 21st, 2009at 11:41 am(#)

    Hi there: Interesting recipe for celery salt. I had never heard of making it from scratch before.

    As for my favorite breakfast . . . . I love poached eggs on buttered toast, and a salt bagel toasted dark with butter hits the spot too, but my hands-down, most soul-satisfying breakfast is sausage gravy on biscuits. I first had it as a kid from my great-aunt Thelma in West Virginia, and it has stuck with me for 35 years.

    I only make it occasionally for health concerns, but there’s nothing like it. A big old-fashioned cast-iron skillet, the sausage sizzling away, getting broken up into tinier and tinier pieces. By the way, modern no-stick skillets are no good for this because the sausage just slides around instead of getting broken up. The resulting gravy is creamy and salty and savory and peppery. Then you take a hot biscuit, split it open and ladle the gravy generously over it, with another dose of black pepper on top.

    -Michael

  9. k.e. says:

    November 2nd, 2010at 6:27 am(#)

    Thanks for this one. I was unable to get celery salt in my new living place and remembered this article. They don’t have bulb celeriac here either, but celery stalks. I ground them with the mini-processor first and mixed the result with salt, which makes the whole immediately get very wet and mushy, so I scattered the mush on a tray without putting it into the refrigerator and dried it as in your recipe. When dry and cool I passed it again through the processor and it came out very nice I must say.
    I follow your blog, long time ago and enjoy it very much.

  10. Jen says:

    November 2nd, 2010at 11:22 am(#)

    k.e. – thanks for sharing! Did the celery mush take long to dry? did the result taste strongly of celery? Another approach might be to grind up celery seeds and mix it with salt (maybe a 4:1 salt to celery seed ratio)

  11. k.e. says:

    November 2nd, 2010at 3:27 pm(#)

    A pleasure. I forgot to check exactly, but my guess is about two hours. At one point when mostly dry but uneven, since the borders dried earlier, I used a spatula to re-scatter it a little. I left it in the switched -off oven to cool during the night, since it was late already.
    In texture it looks very much like yours, but greenish. The taste -and aroma-, much better than salts I have bought. I read that commercial celery salt, is salt with the seeds. But getting seeds is more improbable here, at least for now. (I’m in Guatemala now, by the way). Ah, and I used normal salt since I haven’t found coarse salt yet. :( I arrived less than a month ago, so I’m still in the discovery process.
    Regards,
    Karin

  12. Kim says:

    February 21st, 2011at 2:57 am(#)

    Where did you get those pretty blue jars?

  13. Miko says:

    April 20th, 2011at 12:24 pm(#)

    Hi’ya, Came across your blog whilst rummaging for preserved orange recipe but hopped to the celery salt after seeing the picture, yum! Going to run to the store and try to get my hands on celery root… may have to wait for next season?

    Oh yes, breakfast ritual. Mine is all about the tea and soft boiled eggs. Whole leaf tea with a dollop of honey and pure eire cream. Eggs from my hens, but I only leave it in simmering water for 5 minutes. Will try your version of 6 minutes… as long as the yolk appears goopy & lovely, I’m happy. Thanks for sharing!

  14. James says:

    July 5th, 2011at 11:58 am(#)

    Um…..celery salt is made with celery seed or lovage and salt. The seed or lovage is ground and mixed with the salt. This recipe is NOT celery salt. It may be good, but it is misnamed.

  15. Deb says:

    May 8th, 2012at 10:43 am(#)

    In Provincia di Torino, Piemonte, they grow an especially flavorful, artisinal variety of red celery. The leaves are harvested, mixed with very coarse sea salt and air dried on trays. This mix is then partially crushed (to 1/8″ or 1/4″ sized leaf pieces) and bottled. It is delightful, hard to come by, and worth the effort. I use it, mixed with coarse ground pepper, as a dip for peeled grape tomatoes soaked in vodka and lemon rind. I am sure it could be made at home with kosher salt and celery leaves, though I have not tried to do so.

  16. Jen says:

    May 8th, 2012at 2:56 pm(#)

    Hi Deb,
    Both the celery salt and what you do with it sound amazing. What’s the best way to peel grape tomatoes? a quick dip in boiling water?

    Best,
    Jen

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