How to Roast Celery

Written By Ross Young


Celery is rarely the star of the show. It’s used in the base of sauces and soups. It’s cut into sticks and dipped into hummus. But that doesn’t have to be the way. When you roast celery with plenty of spices, it suddenly gets people talking.

I know. The thought of roasting celery is a peculiar concept. It’s not a vegetable you’d associate with roasting. It’s not a carrot or a courgette. It’s just that healthy, calorie-negative salad veggie you let go to waste at the bottom of the fridge. But you can change that by roasting it!

What You’ll Need to Roasted Celery

Below you’ll find the full list of ingredients you’ll need to roast celery for 4 people:

  • 1 Whole Celery Head: If you’re serving this as the main side dish to a meal then you’ll want around a whole head of celery for 4 people. Give it a rinse, dry and then cut into 10 cm long sticks. Use a vegetable peeler to remove any tough strings.
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil: Olive oil is a must when roasting any vegetables. It’ll help the veg roast but will also encourage the spices to stick to the celery.
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt: Salt will season the celery and draw out some of its subtle sweetness.
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper: A small pinch of freshly ground black pepper will give a subtle peppery warmth.
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin: Cumin is great for adding a warming earthiness to a dish.
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander: Ground coriander has a slightly citrusy flavour that pairs well with the cumin.
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper: This is where the heat comes in. You don’t want to overpower the other flavours so 1/4 tsp is ample but you can adjust this for your preferred heat level.
  • 2 tbsp Honey: A good-quality honey will give you a sticky glaze.
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar will help balance out honey’s excessive sweetness.
  • 2 tbsp Walnuts: So far, everything will be quite flat texturely which is why adding some chopped walnuts is great for crunch.
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds are an easy way to add further crunch.

How to Roast Celery

Once you’ve got your ingredients ready, here are the 6 steps you need to take for roasting celery (and serving it with a delicious sticky honey drizzle):

  1. Preheat the Oven
    Start by preheating your oven to 190°C. You want a fairly high temperature to get it charred. Prepare a baking tray or ovenproof dish by lining it with parchment paper.
  2. Season the Celery
    In a mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, salt, black pepper, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Toss the celery stalks in the spice mixture until they’re evenly coated.
  3. Roasting
    Lay the spiced celery stalks in a single layer on the baking tray, ensuring they aren’t crowded. Roast in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until they turn golden and slightly crispy on the edges.
  4. Prepare the Honey Drizzle
    While the celery is roasting, in a small bowl, combine honey and apple cider vinegar. Stir well to blend. If the honey is thick then heat it in a small saucepan over medium heat to make it more runny.
  5. Serve
    Once the celery is roasted, remove from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Drizzle the honey mixture over the roasted celery, then sprinkle with chopped walnuts and sesame seeds.
  6. Final Touch
    Transfer the celery to a serving dish, and if desired, you can garnish with some fresh herbs like parsley or mint for added freshness.

Substitutes and Tweaks

Instead of honey, use maple syrup or agave. They provide a different form of sweetness.

Switch the grill on at the end of the roasting to give the celery a more charred flavour.

After roasting, make a dressing with tahini, yoghurt, a dash of lemon juice and a little fresh garlic.

Add some tang by crumbling over some blue cheese or feta cheese, which works well at contrasting with all the sweetness.

Turn this into a complete dish by roasting it with sliced cherry tomatoes and black olives.

Tweak the herbs and spices to your liking. Try a mix of Italian herbs, a teaspoon of paprika or some fresh thyme.

Tips for Roasting Celery

If you want to have complete success when roasting celery, here are my top tips:

  • Don’t Chuck Out the Celery Leaves: They are packed with flavour. Chop them finely and sprinkle over the roasted celery or incorporate them into a sauce or dip.
  • Rotate the Tray: Around halfway through the cooking time, rotate the tray 180 degrees to ensure you get an even roast.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Give your celery room to roast. Try to spread them out in a single layer with no overlapping. This allows heat to circulate properly and will give you more crispiness.
  • Dry Properly: Pat the celery dry with plenty of kitchen towels to avoid the celery steaming. Steaming will result in limp, lacklustre celery.
Can You Roast Celery With Other Vegetables?

Yes, celery can be roasted alongside other vegetables, such as carrots, onions, and parsnips. You’ll need to consider how long each vegetable takes to roast.

Is Roasted Celery Good?

Yes! It’s delicious. Roasted celery offers a unique, slightly sweet and nutty flavour with a tender interior and caramelized exterior

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