Our favorite chef, Ro Howe—owner of Barraud Caterers in New York City and a veteran contributor to Women’s Voices for Change—offers the third in her series of recipes that make odd (but happy) marriages. Part I was a pleasing blend of tomatoes and watermelon. Part 2 was a bold combination—grapefruit juice with avocado sorbet.  And now . . . a pairing of the bright crispness of apple with the peppery back taste of celery!—Ed.

If you are a stick of celery, you don’t have much fun in life. You get relegated to some excruciatingly crunchy, stringy, healthy salad or you get thrown into many gallons of bottomless stock to make soups and sauces, never to be seen or recognized for your qualities, charm, and beauty again. It is sad being celery.

But here comes apple to the rescue! Apples have that direct acidity, sweetness, and bright crispness. Apples speaks fruit with straightforward aplomb! Just the thing to put a smile on celery’s face, methinks.

Between you, me, and the salad bowl, the strings in celery are unappealing, but juicing solves that and lets the flavor pronounce itself without tying itself in knots. Add the acid forwardness of apple, a grating of fresh ginger, a kiss of honey, and you’ve got a real all around flavor structure just swooning to be spun into sorbet.

All it needs now, of course, is a sprightly drizzle of fruity tomato syrup spiked with spicy ginger to step the savory one-note celery into the spectrum of sweetness.

So here’s celery that has grown up savory and become a dessert—a culinary reassignment with some help from unexpected, sweet friends.


Celery-Apple Sorbet with Tomato-Ginger Syrup

apple sorbet

Yield: Six portions

Equipment: Juicer, measuring cups and spoons, medium bowl, thin wire whisk, ice cream maker, ice cream scoop


2 C peeled, chopped celery                 

6 Granny Smith apples—cored, not peeled

1 1/3 tablespoons peeled, rough chopped ginger

2 tablespoons honey

¾ C superfine sugar

2 egg whites

¾ C superfine sugar

¼ split vanilla bean

4 inches peeled, sliced ginger

3 1/3 tablespoons lemon juice

½ sliced red chili

½ teaspoon fresh thyme

½ C water    

2 cored, quartered tomatoes

6 thyme sprigs



Juice the celery, apple, and ginger.

Add honey and sugar and stir to melt. Chill.

Whisk egg whites to soft peak. Fold into juice.

Churn in ice cream maker. Freeze.


For the syrup, combine sugar, vanilla bean, ginger, lemon juice, chili, and water. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

Add tomatoes and simmer, partially covered, for 15 to 20 minutes.

Strain through fine mesh sieve. Cool and chill.

To serve, scoop sorbet into small bowls or glasses, drizzle with tomato syrup, and garnish with thyme sprigs.


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