Celery-Radicchio Slaw with Celery Leaf Pesto Dressing

By • March 11, 2012 • 20 Comments


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Author Notes: First let me say I love celery. I mean seriously love it. I keep slices in a refrigerator container and munch them like peanuts when I'm working. Radicchio is high on my list of likes as well. I put them together in this salad to take advantage of the best of many textures and flavors. Thin slices of sweet, crisp outer stalks of celery contrast with the tenderness of ultra-thin radicchio. Thin-sliced scallions deepen the flavors, while lemon and olive oil brighten them. Finally, you'll make a celery-leaf pesto to turn into the salad's dressing.

A note about Meyer lemons: they are naturally sweeter than conventional lemons. If Meyer lemons are not available, use one regular lemon and an orange or tangerine for both the juice and zest.
boulangere

Serves 2 to 4

  • 4 crisp outer stalks celery, trimmed, leaves retained
  • 1 small head radicchio, halved, cored
  • 1 bunch scallions, 1/4” slice, green parts only
  • Zest of 2 lemons (Meyer, if possible), retained
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • A few grinds of pepper
  • Celery leaves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed & peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Leave celery stalks whole. Hold each at an acute angle, and slice on thin setting of mandoline. If you don't have a mandoline, use a chef's knife held at an acute angle, and slice the celery as thin as possible. Transfer to salad bowl.
  2. Slice each half of radicchio also on the thin setting. Leave shreds in bin of mandoline, and fill the bin with cold water. Let radicchio soak for 5 minutes. If you don't have a mandoline, shred radicchio using a knife and soak it in a mixing bowl. Soaking the radicchio for a few minutes will remove some of its natural bitterness. At end of that time, drain through a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer to salad bowl.
  3. Slice scallions and add to salad bowl. Toss vegetables to blend.
  4. Scatter about a teaspoon of coarse sea salt and some grinds of pepper over the salad. Squeeze lemon juice over, followed by 1/4 cup of olive oil. Toss to blend. Let sit for flavors to meld.
  5. Place lemon zest, celery leaves, coarse sea salt, and garlic in a mortar and pestle. I like to use a wooden one to make pestos because the rougher surfaces generate good friction. Blend for about a minute. Set aside for 10 minutes for flavors to blend.
  6. After rest period, whisk 1/4 cup of olive oil into the celery-lemon pesto. Use a spatula to scrape all of the dressing out onto the salad. Toss to blend.
  7. Serve salad on chilled plates with additional wedges of lemon.

Comments (20) Questions (0)

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about 2 years ago EmilyC

I love absolutely everything about this salad. I'd love to eat this plain, with barbeque, with fish tacos, the list goes on. Saved!

Dscn2212

about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So glad to be thinking along with your great mind down the avenue of fish tacos. Thanks, Em!

Christine-28_small(1)

about 2 years ago cheese1227

I love the contrasting colors in this salad! I'm with you on the celery front -- if it's not cooked. Can't take it cooked unless it's really cooked into the dish.

Dscn2212

about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you! Just enough leftovers for lunch the next day. And still crunchy.

Jampro

about 2 years ago Bevi

This is beautiful...do you think I could sub red cabbage for a radicchio-adverse person?

Dscn2212

about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Absolutely!

Dscn2212

about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

If it's the bitterness this *person* objects to, the soaking really does tame it way down, leaving the nice texture in place.

Jampro

about 2 years ago Bevi

Good to know, and my thought is if the radicchio is given the mandolin treatment, the *person* may not have a clue what the ingredient is.

Dscn2212

about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Full disclosure is overrated. Plus, once grated, the one looks just like the other. Burn after reading.

Me

about 2 years ago wssmom

I can practically taste this through the computer!! And prettiful, too!!

Dscn2212

about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you! Leftovers were lunch today.

036

about 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Another one I am for sure going to try!

Dscn2212

about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Good to hear from you, and thanks!

Gator_cake

about 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This sounds great and it looks gorgeous to boot!

Dscn2212

about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you very much!

Image

about 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Love this so much.

Dscn2212

about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, Dr. B. Leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

3-bizcard

about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

LOVE THIS!! I love raw celery and radicchio is way up there for me too! This would make an amazing sandwich too.

Dscn2212

about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh yeah, wouldn't it! Thanks - great idea.

3-bizcard

about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Stuffed in Lapadia's pita, wow!!