Salad

Celery Salad and Cheese on Toast

April 25, 2013

In Cooking from Every Angle, we hear from our fearless leaders: Food52 co-founders Amanda & Merrill.

Today: We're pairing a snappy celery salad with Cambozola toast in hopes that you'll give this often-snubbed vegetable another chance. 

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There are a lot of reasons to dislike celery, with its metallic undercurrent and stingy plainness. Or to reject it altogether. I've read that Thomas Keller doesn't use it in any of his broths or stocks, snubbing the classic mirepoix. I admire such conviction; I get it.

But I'm a 70s kid. Celery was on every hors d'oeuvres table at every boozy party, on every Super Bowl spread, in every snack bag. I have a fondness for its crude snap, its genuine humbleness. I like it pickled. I like it with bagna cauda. I like it in tuna and chicken salad. And I like it braised. Hell, I even like it as the main event. At Prune, in New York City, Gabrielle Hamilton has served celery salad for years. There's not much to it, and I've sort of made up my version, which I hope does justice to hers. And she pairs the crunchy, rough-around-the-edges salad with a toast topped with a large slab of Cambozola. What could make for a better lunch, really? 

Celery Salad and Cheese on Toast

Inspired by Prune in New York City

Serves 4 for lunch

5 celery stalks, sliced diagonally, 1/4-inch thick
5 radishes, cut into thin wedges
3 tablespoons parsley leaves, left mostly whole
2 scallions, sliced diagonally
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, smashed and chopped
Salt
Juice from half a lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 thick slices airy country bread, lightly toasted just before serving
4 thick slices Cambozola cheese or other mild, creamy blue cheese

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom 

Read More:
Italian Celery and Mushroom Salad
Marcella Hazan's Braised Celery with Onion, Pancetta, and Tomatoes
Spicy Celery Quick Pickle Sticks

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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14 Comments

davesnow October 30, 2013
Thomas Keller is a fool, then. Or perhaps he just hasn't yet figured out how to charge $40 for a celery salad. Celery is beautiful, subtle and versatile. Try it very thinly sliced in a salad with mandolined slices of crisp apple, a bit of blue cheese and toasted walnuts. They do something like this at Gjelina in Venice CA and it's terrific.
 
Maritza July 25, 2013
Love it! Crisp and fresh, perfect for summer time. Enjoy !
 
magdance April 29, 2013
I love celery, all forms, especially as a counterpoint to soft, starchy potatoes in potato salad dressed with yoghurt, a bit of mayo, vinegar and oil. Thanks for one more application.
 
Author Comment
Amanda H. May 3, 2013
Like the sound of your potato salad recipe.
 
jcbeard April 29, 2013
Made this today for lunch...absolutely wonderful! Fresh, crisp, great dressing. No more yellowed out, wilted celery to throw out. Thank you.
 
Author Comment
Amanda H. May 3, 2013
Thanks for the feedback -- glad you like it.
 
Cielkaye April 25, 2013
Please guys, a celery challenge. I seem to compost half he celery two weeks after I use it in soup.
 
hardlikearmour April 25, 2013
Lucky for you there was a celery contest about a year ago: http://food52.com/contests/280-your-best-celery-recipe
 
Brette W. April 25, 2013
I had this dish at Prune a few years ago, and I remember the slab of Cambezola being as thick as the slab of toast. Thanks for this, Amanda!
 
EmilyC April 25, 2013
I have everything in my crisper drawer for this salad! I'm actually excited now to go home and fix dinner! I love celery in salads but don't use it enough. On a recent trip to NY, my husband and I dined at The Dutch and the standout dish to me was a simple roasted beet salad with shaved celery and horseradish. The celery was perfect.
 
Alan D. April 25, 2013
There is a wonderful Tunisian Jewish salad made of shaved fennel, cucumber and celery. It is generally served with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing, and is good with feta or other cheeses as well. It is available in a variety of cookbooks, including Joan Nathan's French cookbook.
 
Author Comment
Amanda H. April 25, 2013
Thanks for mentioning this -- sounds like a great dish, and in the same family.
 
wssmom April 25, 2013
Now I know what to do with the rest of the celery in the fridge! Thanks for posting!
 
Author Comment
Amanda H. April 25, 2013
I always have lots of leftover celery as well -- if you haven't tried the Marcella Hazan braised celery, it's a gem: http://food52.com/recipes/21532-marcella-hazan-s-braised-celery-with-onion-pancetta-and-tomatoes