Ten years ago, I stumbled across a recipe for a salad where celery is the star ingredient. With some tweaking, I ended up with my own version of it. Celery Salad is satisfyingly crunchy. A lemon dressing adds zing, and parmesan cheese provides grounding richness. I’m just giving this post from waaaayy back in 2012 a quick makeover, but the recipe itself has stood the test of time.
Celery is one of those “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” vegetables. Sure, along with carrots and onions it forms “mirepoix,” the base for many savoury dishes, and it’s ubiquitous on vegetable trays. At family dinners when I was a child, my mom always put out little dishes of celery and carrot sticks, along with some sweet pickles. But that was about it, apart from some gloppy canned cream of celery soup (and we won’t talk about that). Celery really doesn’t loom large in my food memories, even though I’m fond of it.
So I was intrigued when Emmy of my go-to vegetarian blog Emmy Cooks wrote a post about a salad where celery is the star. I’ve made this twice now in about as many weeks, and plan to make it many more times, particularly in the winter months. I love the crunch, the celery flavour and the brightness of the parsley. A lemony dressing adds sunshiney zing to the plate, most welcome on a dull fall or winter day. Emmy calls for red leaf or another delicate lettuce, but I made mine with crispy fresh romaine and it worked well with the bold texture of the celery. Some shavings or a grating of parmesan cheese adds contrasting earthy richness.
All in all, this salad is a satisfying and refreshing meal, along with some scrambled eggs or good bread and butter. Mmm, I could go for a plateful right now.
This Celery Salad is adapted from the version on the vegetarian food blog Emmy Cooks (see the link in the notes). It's an easy salad to make, taking a "throw it together as you go" approach. As such, I haven't provided any measurements for the salad. Let your hunger and your preferences be your guide.
To make this salad, put the desired amount of torn or chopped romaine lettuce in a bowl. Add a generous amount of thinly sliced celery (about as much in volume as the lettuce) — remember, this is a celery salad. For a speedier preparation, you can just slice across the whole head of celery until you have the right amount. Grab a fat handful of flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chop the leaves and add to your bowl of green goodness. Put some olive oil in a small bowl (I use less than a tablespoon for an entrée-sized salad for myself). Squeeze in fresh lemon juice until you have a good lemony dressing. Add a pinch or so of salt and some freshly ground pepper (not too much, it should stay in the background). MIx the dressing well, pour over the salad and toss. If you like, add some shavings or a grating of fresh parmesan.
Crunch away and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Emmy Cooks, here.
First Published 2012 11 29
Republished 2022 10 17
I’ve never thought about that poor old celery, languishing forgotten in most salads:) I love the idea of this and think the pepperyness (is that a word) of celery would be lovely!
I was looking for a word to describe the flavor of celery, Barb, and I think you’ve hit on it with ‘pepperyness.’ I know just what you mean! Do try this salad, I think you’ll enjoy it!
Oh, I want one now! So glad you like it. And I love the tip of slicing across the whole head of celery at once–genius!
Another benefit of slicing across the whole head of celery is that it helps it fit into the crisper better!
Thank you – it is!
You are right about celery…it is usually an afterthought. Always a bit actor and never the star.
This salad is its breakthrough role!
What a wonderful looking salad mar! Don’t think I would have thought of it, but you’ve sure got me thinking about it now! Wonderful!
Credit goes to Emmy! So nice to see how recipes get passed around.
But it came to me by way of You, so thanks! 🙂
Zia never fails to include celery in her salads — and every supper includes a salad. I’ll pass along this recipe to her and I’m sure she’ll get a good crunch out of it. 🙂
And you are right about celery. It’s the Sydney Greenstreet of the vegetable crisper. You wouldn’t necessarily pay to see him in a movie but that film sure would suffer if he were absent.
Okay, now that I’ve looked up Sydney Greenstreet (oh, of course, him!) you’ve reminded me that my mom always puts thin slices of celery in her salads too. Not in the forefront, but there as part of the supporting cast (do you like that movie tie-in?).
I hope your Zia likes this recipe. Do tell her I’d be honoured if she were to try it!
I love celery but never thought about making a salad like this. And with the addition of Parmesan cheese, this sounds so heavenly.
I’ve made this salad so many times already, and each time I enjoy its freshness and flavour. I hope you enjoy it too!
Never made any celery as ” star of the dish” before, this is really new and tempting to try..
Unfortunately, the celery root that available in Indonesia is Inported, matured and had a hard skin….
i hope i can buy the young ones later on…
This salad is not made with celery root, but with green celery stalks. Hope you can find some so you can try it!
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