Crunchy Celery Salad

Looking for something fresh for your Labor Day picnic??  Want an alternative to traditional salads that can wilt in heat?  Need a cool, crispy side dish that’s low on calories and high on taste?  Give your that celery the reboot with a salad that celebrates it in all its crispy, crunchy saltiness!!  You can use this as a perfect accompaniment to bbq, fried chicken and all the other picnic indulgences you love to eat.  It can also be elegant and perfect for a dinner party – I served this recently with steaks and shrimp with great feedback!

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CRUNCHY CELERY SALAD

Ingredients

  • 2 Bunches Celery
  • 1 Cup Walnut Pieces
  • Shaved Parmesan or Fontina Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper

Instructions

  • In a dry pan, warm walnuts over low heat until fragrant and lightly toasted.  Set aside to cool.
  • Wash celery and hearts thoroughly.  Don’t throw away the leafy hearts, they’re delicious!!
  • Trim ends off of celery and then cut on a bias into 1/2-inch pieces.  Chop leaves and hearts in a small chop.  Place the celery and hearts in a medium bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until vinaigrette comes together.
  • Add walnuts to celery and then pour dressing over both.  Toss thoroughly to coat salad entirely.
  • Chill for at least 2 hours.  When ready to serve, place in serving bowl and top with cheese shavings to taste.

Pretty simple, right?  The flavor is outstanding though and most people haven’t eaten this salad before.  I think the addition of crispy bacon pieces would also be delicious in this salad.  Want to make it festive for the holidays?  Add thinly sliced radishes or dried cranberries/cherries for color and a touch of sweetness.  I’d love to hear how you make this your own!!  Try it this Labor Day Weekend and enjoy!

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