Celery? Really? Beyond its essential role stirring a Bloody Mary, serving as a dip stick on plate of crudités or adding crunch to tuna, celery is the vegetable I generally leave out of recipes.
In contrast, fennel, that licorice-flavored cousin of celery, is among my favorite staples. I’ve never thought to put the two together. Until now. So here they are in a natural pairing with accents of ginger and anise seed. In this recipe I’ve added a hint of fennel pollen, (my secret-power ingredient for summer salsas and salads) combined with the natural sweetness of meyer lemon juice and the earthy, nutty flavors of asparagus, arugula and pistachio. Results? Well, taste for yourself. —Vivian Henoch
What You'll Need
extra virgin olive oil
fresh ginger, minced
3 to 4
celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally
loosely packed celery leaves
large fennel bulb
chopped fennel fronds
stalks asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
pistachio nuts (optional)
avocado, thinly sliced (optional)
medium shallot, chopped fine (optional)
Using a food processor, whisk together first 7 ingredients.
In a saute pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil, add sesame seeds and asparagus. Flash-cook until asparagus turns bright green (about 1 minute).
In a medium bowl, combine thinly sliced fennel and celery, chopped fennel fronds and celery leaves. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To assemble: spoon fennel and celery slaw over a bed of arugula. Top with asparagus and sesame seed mixture. Add pistachios. Garnish with avocado slices.