Make Ahead

Italian Celery and Mushroom Salad

March  8, 2012
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

I have always had a "thing" for raw celery in salad. It has to do with texture - the crunchy factor that celery delivers. It lends itself well to so many other flavors. Here, it is paired with lightly sauteed mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and lemon vinaigrette. It makes a nice side at dinner, but it is equally as delicious with a slice of baguette for lunch.

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Waverly, a lawyer-turned-full-time-mom, wholesome meal advocate and all around super home cook!
WHAT: A delicate yet satisfying salad of celery and mushroom.
HOW: Just a little slicing and squeezing and in almost no time, you're looking at one beautiful dish.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Earthy sauteed mushrooms and parmesan pack a lovely umami punch, bringing perfect balance to the crunch of the celery and zing of the lemon. We could happily eat this salad every day. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 7 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 pound mushrooms, delicate varieties such as cremini, oyster, or shiitake are best, wiped clean as sliced as thin as possible
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 ribs celery, shaved paper thin (use a mandolin if you have one)
  • 1 cup shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  1. SAUTE THE MUSHROOMS: In a skillet, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil over MEDIUM HIGH heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced mushrooms and saute until golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper and then set aside to cool.
  2. TOSS THE SALAD: In a large serving bowl, whisk the remaining 4 Tbsp olive oil with the lemon juice. Add a little salt and pepper and then taste. Add more oil or lemon juice as you like. Add the celery, cooled mushrooms, cheese, and parsley to the bowl and toss until combined. Season with sea salt and pepper and serve.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jane Rosenbaum
    Jane Rosenbaum
  • Cristel
  • Katelinlee
  • ChefJune
  • Scribbles
Waverly used to be a lawyer and is now a mother 24/7. She has made a commitment to cooking for her family and absolutely loves it even when her family does not. She is teaching them, one meal at a time, to enjoy wholesome homemade food. She abhors processed food but recognizes its insidious nature and accepts the fact that her children will occasionally get some Skittles, Doritos, or the like. Her philosophy and hope is that if she teaches them well at home, they will prefer wholesome healthy foods when they go out into the world without her.

41 Reviews

Beth April 28, 2021
I have this salad 2-3 times a week. I just love it. I use shitake mushrooms as well as cremini or baby bellas. I dress it with lemon olive oil and fresh lemon juice, 1:1. I love the cold celery with the warm mushrooms, topped with parm. Delicious!
Chloroph May 2, 2016
This was excellent. I used less olive oil and a lot more lemon juice cause I like it that way. Turned out bright and super juicy and flavorful!
smiles November 18, 2015
This is a similar recipe to one from Lidia Bastianich.
Jane R. June 10, 2015
I made this for lunch today and loved it. I cut the recipe in half and ate the whole thing! I have had such guilt over the years about throwing out celery and have tried every trick in the world to make it last as long as I need it to. This is the best solution yet for using up that beautiful crisp vegetable before it's soggy and limp. The key to the deliciousness really is that the slices are paper thin. I had a couple slices that weren't and they just tasted to celery-ish, it that makes any sense.
Thank you for this recipe.
Jacques C. October 26, 2014
Terrific ! I cut the celery a little thicker and blanched it. My guests loved the salad .
Katie July 3, 2014
made this tonight and now I am addicted it was sooo yummy!
Cristel February 8, 2014
Outstanding! This salad is so simple, quick and delicious! I will be making it again and again. I used button and oyster mushrooms, and probably a little less celery.
Katelinlee is right, the leftovers are nice, but this dish is definitely better freshly made.
mawhorts January 19, 2014
Delicious! Does anyone have an idea of how this does when made the night before? Should I just saute the mushrooms and slice the celery, then dress it in the morning? Or does pre-sliced celery lose its crispness? Is this one of those salads that's actually better as leftovers when the flavors have had time to mingle?
Katelinlee January 28, 2014
It's a treat for lunch the next day but I wouldn't necessarily call it company worthy. I think it's better freshly made, but it does do very well if made an hour or two before serving and left to sit. I've served it with a galette made the night before and prepped this salad while it reheated.
mawhorts January 28, 2014
Thanks! I have a feeling I'll be making this over and over.
Katelinlee January 6, 2014
I love this recipe. I've made it many times now - great for a dinner party since the temperature is forgiving, or for a "not sad" desk lunch!
ChefJune October 7, 2013
I wonder why I didn't save this before. It sounds like the perfect thing for dinner tonight. And I have everything on hand!
maryanon August 5, 2013
I have a new Kitchenaid food processor to break in so I made this last night--paper thin celery slices like a dream. Also did a nice slice on the mushroom. Such a huge it with my guests, everyone ate at least two servings, two people asked for the recipe. Who knew celery could taste like some delicious, exotic lettuce when done this way?
dickensthedog July 30, 2013
I added sliced leftover thin slices of steak, and this was a wonderful one dish summer meal! I think that I will increase the mushrooms and decrease the celery next time though.
Ham June 10, 2013
This was delicious! I made it to prelude a hearty Italian stew for a dinner party. I would, however, recommend cutting the cheese down by a 1/4 cup. I personally felt that it was too overpowering for the mushrooms, but otherwise very good.
Scribbles June 9, 2013
I made this last night for dinner with fresh trout - great combination with lovely flavors and textures.
sasha B. April 26, 2013
just made this, lovely-will make again
Erin Z. April 14, 2013
You know those times when you are absolutely starving and hour before dinner reservations? This is the appetizer recipe for you! The flavors in this dish are amazing! To make it even more effortless, rather than sauteing delicate mushrooms, I used 1 lb large, raw portobello mushrooms caps- cleaned and thinly sliced. I also swapped the Parmesan for Pecorino Romano, which is made of sheep's milk and in my opinion, adds even more depth of flavor. The results were earthy, bright, clean, salty/nutty and fabulous.
Nanny B. January 22, 2013
I've never liked celery. But what I don't like even more is throwing away unused celery so I made this and it was scrumptious! I really wasn't expecting it to be! The paper thin slices mellow out the overpowering celery flavor and texture while still maintaining crunch and non-sogginess. The mushroom and Parmesan bring it together and make it a savory and delicious.
SMSF January 17, 2013
I saw Giada DiLaurentiis make something very similar on TV a while back, but the mushrooms were not cooked. This recipe from Waverly sound much better and more flavorful.
Chef T. November 29, 2012
I made this recipe over the weekend and it was a HUGE hit at my dinner party! Everyone was asking for the recipe!!
Consultant W. July 21, 2012
This is so so good. I added some shredded beef to make the salad meal-worthy.