Make Ahead

Celery and Lentil Salad with Tossed Salsa Verde

February  4, 2019
12 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

This is a zippy, hearty salad that will forever open your mind to celery's deliciousness and versatility. Make it for a simple weeknight dinner, tote it to a picnic or potluck, or serve it at your next soirée. Once assembled, it can easily hang out at room temperature for a few hours—just give it a another toss before digging in. And while I like its contrasting textures best on day one, it’s also good the next day, after the lentils have soaked up the spunky vinaigrette and the celery has relaxed its crunch. It’s like getting two very good salads for the price of one.

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is featured in the story, The Crunchy, Tangy Salad That Made Me Fall in Love With Celery, sponsored by FreshDirect. —The Editors

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • For the lemon-anchovy vinaigrette:
  • 3 anchovies
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon capers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large lemon, finely grated zest and 3 tablespoons juice
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the salad:
  • 3/4 cup green lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 pinches kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 celery stalks, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal (about 3 cups in total)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups celery leaves, Italian parsley leaves, and/or baby arugula
  • 1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds
  • 2 ounces pecorino romano or parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler
In This Recipe
  1. Place lentils and bay leaf in a saucepan and cover by several inches of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender but still firm, about 20 minutes (or according to package directions). Add additional water, if needed, to keep the lentils covered.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the vinaigrette: Mince and smash the anchovies into a paste with the side of your knife. In a small bowl or jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the anchovies, shallots, capers, lemon zest and juice, and a few pinches of salt. Let macerate for about 5 minutes, then add the olive oil, whisking (or shaking) to emulsify. Taste and adjust the acid and seasoning.
  3. When lentils are done, drain well in a colander, discarding the bay leaf. Return the lentils to the pan. Immediately fold in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and the raisins. Let cool for about 5 to 10 minutes, then taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. In a serving bowl, toss the celery and celery leaves (and/or the parsley and arugula) with 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette and a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes, then add the lentils, almonds, and pecorino. Taste again, adding more vinaigrette, lemon juice, or salt, as needed. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

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  • Elizabeth Mirzaei
    Elizabeth Mirzaei
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  • EmilyC

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.