Celery-Radicchio Slaw with Celery Leaf Pesto Dressing

March 11, 2012
1 Ratings
  • Serves 2 to 4
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

What You'll Need
  • 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.
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  • EmilyC
  • cheese1227
  • Bevi
  • wssmom
  • aargersi

17 Reviews

EmilyC March 13, 2012
I love absolutely everything about this salad. I'd love to eat this plain, with barbeque, with fish tacos, the list goes on. Saved!
boulangere March 13, 2012
So glad to be thinking along with your great mind down the avenue of fish tacos. Thanks, Em!
cheese1227 March 13, 2012
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.
boulangere March 13, 2012
Thank you! Just enough leftovers for lunch the next day. And still crunchy.
Bevi March 12, 2012
This is beautiful...do you think I could sub red cabbage for a radicchio-adverse person?
boulangere March 12, 2012
boulangere March 13, 2012
If it's the bitterness this *person* objects to, the soaking really does tame it way down, leaving the nice texture in place.
Bevi March 13, 2012
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.
boulangere March 13, 2012
Full disclosure is overrated. Plus, once grated, the one looks just like the other. Burn after reading.
wssmom March 12, 2012
I can practically taste this through the computer!! And prettiful, too!!
boulangere March 12, 2012
Thank you! Leftovers were lunch today.
aargersi March 12, 2012
Another one I am for sure going to try!
boulangere March 12, 2012
Good to hear from you, and thanks!
hardlikearmour March 11, 2012
This sounds great and it looks gorgeous to boot!
boulangere March 11, 2012
Thank you very much!
drbabs March 11, 2012
Love this so much.
boulangere March 11, 2012
Thank you, Dr. B. Leftovers for lunch tomorrow.