Celery seed is great to have around when you want the taste of celery but not the vegetable. The seeds are almost the size of pinheads and have a dull brown colour. They are so small and dusty looking that, if you buy a small container, it is easy to think that they have already been ground.
Celery seed has a strong flavour. Tasting them, it is easy to understand why celery in the past was used more for medicine and flavouring than as a vegetable.
The seeds are almost like the essence of celeryquite strong with a bitter edge. They are far too potent to be used on their own but they are great in pickling, added to a steak spice or mixed into a salad dressing.
I like this spice in a seasoning salt. You can buy celery salt but it is fresher and much cheaper to make it yourself. To make celery salt, use an electric coffee grinder. Thoroughly clean and dry it so that there is no coffee aroma, then grind a tablespoon of sea salt or kosher salt with a half teaspoon of celery seeds.
Use celery salt as a table condiment. Add it to soups or boiling water for vegetables instead of regular salt. Try it on freshly cooked corn. I think it is perfect for the rim of a Bloody Mary.