Pickle Me This: Lemon Pepper Celery Sticks

My post-holiday and on-going Covid snacking have caught up with me. Even if celery sticks are billed as nearly “calorie free,” no one really enjoys munching on plain raw celery, do they? Try simple pickled lemon pepper celery, instead!

I could munch on these pickled lemon pepper celery sticks all day – and I do. I’ve discovered that when I make a batch they don’t last long.

This may sound fussy but peeling celery has recently come to my attention. Maybe you’ve been doing it for years and I’m late to the game.  It’s not fussy and only takes seconds. Literally seconds. But what a difference it makes!  I use a vegetable peeler to lightly peel the outer ridges of each stalk. Peeling helps the celery better absorb the brine and greatly reduces those annoying celery strings between your teeth (I save my flossing for nighttime, thank you very much!).  This recipe will take you no more than 10 minutes. Try it – you’ll be hooked.

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Pickle Me This: Lemon Pepper Celery Sticks


  • 1 bunch celery (about 10 – 12 stalks)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher or sea (not iodized table) salt
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 4 strips of lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or finely ground pepperoncino (red pepper flakes)


  1. Separate celery stalks from the bunch and carefully wash each stalk
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, lightly peel the outer ridges of each stalk. Cut off the white end of the stalks and discard. Cut each stalk in half vertically, and then into approximately 4-inch (10cm) pieces and place them into a clean glass jar(s)
  3. Bring the remaining ingredients to a boil (liquids, seasonings and lemon peels). This is your brining liquid
  4. Slowly and carefully pour the hot brining liquid into the jar, ensuring the liquid completely covers the celery. If you do not have enough liquid, add equal parts water and white wine vinegar to top off the jar. (TIP: If you have extra brine, don’t throw it out! Add double the amount olive oil to it and whisk it to make a quick vinaigrette!)
  5. With the lid on, let the jar cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator
  6. Refrigerate and wait 24 – 48 hours before enjoying. The pickled celery should last approximately 2 weeks in the refrigerator

Author: gregnelsoncooks

Visit weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

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