Boiled celery becomes tender and develops a mild flavor that blends seamlessly into most cooked dishes. Small, young stalks boil quickly, while larger, tougher stalks may require longer boiling to soften and become tender. A brief boiling softens celery only slightly and takes the edge off the crunch when you add it to a warm chicken salad. You can also boil it for longer for an even more tender treat to serve alone, with a sauce or mixed with other vegetables.
Wash the celery in cool water. Cut off and discard the stem end and the leafy top.
Cut the celery stalks uniformly to your desired size. Pull off any tough strings.
Place the celery in a pot. Add enough water to cover the celery to a 2-inch depth.
Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer small 1- to 2-inch-long pieces for 5 to 10 minutes, or larger stalks for up to 20 minutes.
Drain the celery in a colander after it reaches the desired tenderness.