A note on celery leaves. Unfortunately they are getting harder to find, as Heidi notes in her introduction to this recipe. And that's a shame because there's a lot of flavor in celery leaves, much more than what's in the stalks. So look for stalks with leaves when you buy your celery and ask your produce people to leave them on.
The 101 Cookbooks recipe says to either bake or lightly toast the celery leaves in a frying pan. I have west-facing windows, so I thought I'd try sun-drying them over a period of a few days. I thought this was working until I noticed that the cool, foggy evenings we get in Berkeley were rehydrating them. So I threw the partially dried out leaves into a toaster oven for a few minutes and they came out crisp and easy to crumble.
From there it was only a matter of adding an equal measure of the Maldon salt and, using my fingers, pinching it a bit to mix it all up. Just scoop it into a airtight jar and voila! Celery salt!
I find this celery salt far superior to the store-bought kind. The celery flavor really comes through with clean, green, grassy notes. It is absolutely worth the effort. This salt would be fun to make with children and would make an excellent host gift.
There are many uses for celery salt: to rim a glass for a Bloody Mary, sprinkled on top of all manner of eggs, soups and salads or on an open-faced tomato sandwich. It's also great to use when you haven't used the celery called for in a recipe. Give it a try!
• Get the recipe: Homemade Celery Salt from 101 Cookbooks
(Images: Dana Velden)