Sweet, Salty, Crunchy, Zingy Apple and Celery Salad

By • January 10, 2011 • 31 Comments

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Author Notes: This is one of those recipes that falls out of nowhere and into your brain. I assume it was inspired by something, but I have no idea what, it just appeared. I know apple and celery salads are a thing, but this one is quite different from your standard version. It mixes up a variety of crunchy, salty, and sweet ingredients for a wonderfully refreshing salad that still feels hearty enough for winter. My husband, who can always be counted on to come up with the most pithy/amusing things to say about what I cook, started eating it and exclaimed (with gusto), "oh my gosh! This salad is changing my life one bite at a time!" So there you go, it's a life changing salad. ;) - fiveandspicefiveandspice

Food52 Review: It’s hard to imagine a more cheerful salad than this in the dead of winter, or any time really, for that matter. The title of this recipe pretty well describes it, but doesn’t capture the brilliance of the combination of ingredients. The mint, lemon juice, capers and ricotta salata (which was the only ingredient I don’t regularly have on hand, but well worth the effort to find), provide the perfect foil to the sweet-tart apple and raisins. Juicy and fresh tasting, with wonderful bright, bold flavors, this salad is one I plan to make again, often. ;o)AntoniaJames

Serves 4

  • 2 cups celery, thinly sliced (on a bit of a diagonal)
  • 1 sweet-tart apple, such as Braeburn or Pink Lady, cored and cut into smallish chunks
  • 2 tablespoons (heaping) golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons (generous Tbs.) crumbled ricotta salata (or other fresh, salty cheese)
  1. If the raisins are dry, soak them for 10 minutes in a bit of apple juice or water. Then drain them.
  2. Combine the celery, apple, raisins, and capers in a medium-large bowl. Drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil and toss well to coat.
  3. Throw in the sliced mint and the crumbled ricotta salata and toss again until everything is a lovely jumble. Serve! This salad also just grows better as it sits a little while and the flavors hang out and get to know each other a bit better (within reason, I'm talking a couple hours to a day here, more than that and the celery does start to lose its crunch).
Jump to Comments (31)

Tags: apple, capers, celery, lemon, light, mediterranean, mint, raisins, ricotta

Comments (31) Questions (0)

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11 months ago MariahK

I love this salad so much! It's my new favorite!

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about 1 year ago Erin Butterworth

Wonderful salad fiveandspice, so crisp and healthy. Thank you for posting!

Sausage2

about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I'm so glad you liked it so much!

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over 1 year ago LauriDor

This looks so great. I have the ingredients on hand and will make it for lunch today. Thanks!

Sausage2

over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hope you enjoy it!

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over 1 year ago Joanne Lim

I didn't have soft cheese on hand so I used some greek yoghurt I had around, and made up for the saltiness with some anchovied breadcrumbs* I had made a couple of days ago. It works too!

* Buy good anchovies preserved in olive oil. Ground a few of them into a paste in a pestle and mortar along with with breadcrumbs. Pan-fry in some olive oil. Make a big batch and keep it for sprinkling along anything that needs an oomph!

Sausage2

over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Sounds awesome!

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almost 2 years ago lacerise

This was a neighborhood effort.....organic celery, Annmarie's mint, Michael's meyer lemons, local goat feta. It was delicious for dinner last night and I brought the leftovers to work for snack time. Thanks for coming up with this winning combo of flavors.

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almost 2 years ago lacerise

This came together with some neighborhood effort....good organic celery, Annmarie's mint, Michael's Meyer lemons, and some local goat feta. It was delicious and I've brought the leftovers to work today for a snack. Thank you for thinking up this combo.

Sausage2

almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Awesome!!! Glad you guys liked. I love a good neighborhood effort!

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almost 2 years ago Galapagos

With crisp, not flabby or watery farmer's market celery, the salad kept its crunch for more than the day suggested as optimal. I found the flavors blended even better on day two. I used French feta whose softness I prefer as a better foil to the celery & apple crunch than I would ricotta salata. Different and delicious. I'll make it again.

Sausage2

almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Mmm, farmer's market celery is such a different (and wonderful) beast from regular grocery store celery. Lucky you! And I'm so happy you enjoyed the salad!

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almost 2 years ago Musebe

This is a winner! I actually didn't have mint on hand and had to substitute with basil...it worked!

Sausage2

almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

How awesome! I'm glad to hear the substitution worked well.

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about 2 years ago lisina

my cousin makes a salad like this that i die for. and i think i like this one even better--brava!

Sausage2

almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks so much!

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

This looks absolutely delicious -- love the combination of flavors!

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Love the celery and apple combo.

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks! It's funny but when I dreamed of this, I don't think I knew that celery and apple was a thing! But it is, and rightly so, though this variation is pretty different from the usual!

Me

over 2 years ago wssmom

I am so glad you entered this! Love!

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks so much wssmom! I'm flattered!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Love this salad, so glad you entered it as I have not seen it before. Wonderful mix of flavors.

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks sdebrango! I hope you give it a try. We love it! It's so refreshing.

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over 3 years ago shoopee

I just made this tonight for dinner -- my 3 year old son and I gobbled it up. Yum.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I'm glad you guys liked it! It's a good salad for gobbling! :)

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over 3 years ago xMarcus

We've made this twice now.. such a simple but delicious salad!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you!!! I'm so happy to hear it. Thanks for the feedback!

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over 3 years ago DeArmasA

I just made this for lunch with what I had on hand (granny smiths, fresh mozzerella, dried basil instead of mint, and extra apple (I'm allergic to sulfur, and thus can't eat raisins, unfortunately) and it was a perfect salad for a windy, blustery day! Thank you for posting!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Glad you liked it! Your version sounds super yummy!

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almost 2 years ago lacerise

My daughter is allergic to sulfur, too, and we found raisins at, of all places, Trader Joe's, that have no sulfur.