Crunchy Celery Salad

Crunchy Celery Salad with Parmesan and Creamy Lemon Dressing from Where There's Smoke by Barton Seaver

Celery is mainly used as an aromatic for stocks, but I have found it can be a compelling ingredient in its own right. The vitality of its crunch, the cool, unyielding fl avor, and its generally amiable nature make it a valuable staple to have on hand at all times. The key to this salad is to slice the celery as thinly as possible, preferably with a mandoline. The dish is delicious just the way it is, but I have also spiked it with thin slices of smoked shrimp and loved it. Smoked mussels, clams, even smoked chicken would make nice additions as well.

1 bunch celery, tough outer stalks discarded and ends trimmed
2 tablespoons roughly chopped or torn fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce Parmesan, cut into shavings with a vegetable peeler

Slice the celery as thin as possible on a slight bias. Do not discard the inner leaves from the heart of the celery, as these are packed with fl avor and aroma. Mix the celery with the parsley and pecans in a medium serving bowl.

Mix the lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and whisk to combine. Pour the vinaigrette over the celery mixture and add another pinch of salt. Toss to combine and divide the salad among plates. Garnish with freshly ground pepper and thin shavings of Parmesan. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 4
 

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