Celery and Parmesan Salad

>> Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Whenever I make Italian food, I will serve a Caesar salad or a salad with a red wine vinaigrette. But I needed some thing new tonight because I was growing bored with the old stand-bys. I remembered a recipe from Ina Garten's newest cookbook How Easy Is That? that I thought could be exactly what I was craving.

I really enjoyed the crispness of the celery with the tart lemon dressing and the large slices of shaved parmesan made it all absolutely divine. It seems like a very gourmet salad but all the ingredients were easy to find, "normal" ingredients. Between the two of us, Andrew and I polished off the entire salad! I think this salad would make an elegant starter when serving any kind of heavy meal because, even though it's packed with flavor, it's a really light salad. I will definitely be making this one again!

Celery and Parmesan Salad
recipe from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?

1/2 c good olive oil
2 t grated lemon zest
1/4 c plus 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
2 T minced shallots
1 t celery seed
1/2 t celery salt
1/2 t anchovy paste
Kosher salt and pepper
5 c thinly sliced celery hearts, tender leaves included, sliced as thinly as possible and on an
angle (about 12 stalks)*
4 oz chunk aged Parmesan cheese
2/3 c toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Whole flat-leaf parsley (I accidentally omitted this)

At least one hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, 1/4 c lemon juice, shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 t salt and 1 t pepper. Place the celery in a mixing bowl and toss it with the remaining 1 T lemon juice and 1/2 t salt. (Even though these ingredients are in the dressing, believe me - this step makes a difference.) Add enough dressing to moisten well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to develop.

When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle with walnuts, parsley leaves, salt and pepper and serve immediately.

*it really helps to use a mandolin to slice the celery - it provides evenly sliced celery in a fraction of the time.


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