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Author Notes: Celery? Really? Beyond its essential role stirring a Bloody Mary, serving as a dip stick on plate of crudités or adding crunch to tuna, celery is the vegetable I generally leave out of recipes.
In contrast, fennel, that licorice-flavored cousin of celery, is among my favorite staples. I’ve never thought to put the two together. Until now. So here they are in a natural pairing with accents of ginger and anise seed. In this recipe I’ve added a hint of fennel pollen, (my secret-power ingredient for summer salsas and salads) combined with the natural sweetness of meyer lemon juice and the earthy, nutty flavors of asparagus, arugula and pistachio. Results? Well, taste for yourself. —Vivian Henoch
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fennel pollen
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- 3 to 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally
- 1/4 cup loosely packed celery leaves
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
- 3 cups baby arugula
- 4 stalks asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons pistachio nuts (optional)
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 medium shallot, chopped fine (optional)
- Using a food processor, whisk together first 7 ingredients.
- In a saute pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil, add sesame seeds and asparagus. Flash-cook until asparagus turns bright green (about 1 minute).
- In a medium bowl, combine thinly sliced fennel and celery, chopped fennel fronds and celery leaves. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To assemble: spoon fennel and celery slaw over a bed of arugula. Top with asparagus and sesame seed mixture. Add pistachios. Garnish with avocado slices.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Celery Recipe
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