Fresh celery is a crisp and healthy vegetable with distinctively savory flavor notes. Unfortunately, just a few days in the refrigerator can leave celery or other crisp vegetables limp and rubbery. Rather than discarding the celery and buying more, savvy cooks can return it to its original crisp condition.
Lay the celery on a cutting board. If it is still in a single head, trim about 1/8 inch from the root end with a sharp knife. If the celery is already separated into individual ribs, trim each one to the same length.
Select a jar or measuring cup that will hold all the celery. Stand the head or the individual stalks in the cup with the root end down.
Fill the jar or cup with cold water. Refrigerate the cup of water with the celery in it. After three or four hours, the celery should have returned to its original crispness.
Change the water daily, until all the celery has been used.
The same technique works for other vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, carrots and many fresh herbs. When they dry, the cut end of the stems will heal over with scar tissue. Cutting this away allows the plant's cells to resume their job of drawing up moisture.
If the water or the submerged portion of the stem becomes discolored or shows signs of spoilage, cut the celery above the water line and discard the affected portions.