Make Ahead

Date night celery and fennel salad

March 13, 2012
0 Ratings
Photo by Emma Tesman
  • Serves Two (of course!)
Author Notes

Fennel is the perfect hot date night food because -- according to the Oxford Companion to Italian Food – it both calms flatulence and sweetens breath. In this dish, my fennel is romancing tender celery hearts in what I think is a great pairing. —cheese1227

What You'll Need
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and chopped, fronds removed and saved
  • 6-8 of the palest stalks of celery hearts (you need about a cup), leaves removed and saved
  • A good two tablespoons of fresh tarragon leaves
  • Good olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground into ½ teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 small chunk of parmigiano reggiano, flaked off in slivery chunks
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
  1. Combine chopped fennel and celery in a bowl. Roughly chop fennel leaves, celery leaves and tarragon and add them to the bowl. Add a glug of olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon and a couple of grinds of pepper and celery seed. Stir. Taste and add more lemon if desired.
  2. Spread the salad on a platter; sprinkle the fennel seeds and salt, pine nuts and cheese over the vegetables. You can serve it immediately, or it holds well at room temperature for well over an hour or so if you and your date are otherwise engaged.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cheese1227
  • gingerroot
  • EmilyC
  • hardlikearmour
  • drbabs
I am an excellent eater (I have been all my life). I’m a pretty good cook (Ask my kids!). And my passable writing improves with alcohol (whether it's the writer or the reader that needs to drink varies by sentence.). I just published my first cookbook, Green Plate Special, which focuses on delicious recipes that help every day cooks eat more sustainably.

15 Reviews

cheese1227 March 26, 2012
Served this with Merrill's
Pretty great combo!
gingerroot March 14, 2012
This is perfect, I can't wait to make this lovely salad.
cheese1227 March 14, 2012
Please let me know how it turns out for you!
gingerroot March 30, 2012
Doubled this last night for dinner and it really WAS perfect! So simple, and so delicious. The fennel seed-fleur de sel is genius as seasoning. I could eat this every night, happily. Thanks for a great recipe!
EmilyC March 13, 2012
I love the combination of flavors here! Nicely done!
cheese1227 March 13, 2012
Thank you!
hardlikearmour March 13, 2012
I love how fresh this sounds.
cheese1227 March 13, 2012
I like how you can buy the ingredients several days ahead and still have it taste fresh when you've got time to make it!
drbabs March 13, 2012
Very delicious. Beats asking us to pull your finger.
cheese1227 March 13, 2012
LOL. If I can't bring him to the Food52 level, I guess he can bring us all down to his level. I seriously hear myself saying to him "You know, if you keep doing that at the table, you'll never get a second date."
aargersi March 13, 2012
Both delicious and also full of valuable information! Ha ha!
cheese1227 March 13, 2012
What can I say? I live with a 13-year-old boy who is stuck between fart jokes and trying to perfect good table manners so he can get a date.
fiveandspice March 13, 2012
Ah, what a stellar age that is for boys! This looks delicious! Very much like a salad I make, except I throw pears in there too. It's making me want to make it tonight, actually!
cheese1227 March 13, 2012
Let's hope so!
boulangere March 13, 2012
Celery + fennel sounds like a marriage, pun very much intended, made in heaven.