I simply couldn’t tell you about this salad quickly enough. In fact, I’ve set my plate aside to write this post.
Quick backstory: I’ve let my healthy eating habits slide a bit over the past few challenging months of emotional and physical overload. I’ve been feeling adrift, and having trouble focusing on normal activities like cooking and writing (which explains why it’s been fairly quiet around here lately). But late this afternoon, sparked by a craving for a clean and healthy dinner, I found my inspiration.
On the way to the market to buy a ready-made Greek salad (I know, I know), I started thinking about what I could make instead. My celery salad came to mind, but I wanted to change it up. Instead of heading to the prepared foods section of the store, I hit the produce aisles and drove home excited to get to work on my vision of this sunny slaw.
With thinly sliced pale green celery, and slender batons of golden beet and fresh white fennel, this slaw looks like springtime on a plate. To bring a feeling of fall comfort to the dish, I enhanced the simple dressing of lemon and olive oil with finely minced fresh ginger.
The result? Bright and cheerful goodness; really, just look at those fresh, happy colours. This pleasingly crunchy salad is suffused with the gentle, warming undertone and flavour of ginger. If I may say so myself — and oh, I will — that ginger was a stroke of genius. What can I say, eating this is making me feel fantastic, and I haven’t even finished it yet!
I don’t know if this means I’ve got my groove back, but right now I’m one happy food blogger. I love how creating such a simple dish is both exciting and satisfying. And now I’m going to finish eating it.
Ginger-Suffused Celery, Golden Beet & Fennel Slaw
This recipe makes enough for one large salad or two side salads.
- 1 medium golden beet, trimmed and peeled
- 4 stalks of celery (use the leaves too if you have them)
- half a medium fennel bulb, trimmed
- 1-1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- a small piece of ginger, finely minced (I used a piece about the diameter of my pinkie finger and 3/4 inch long – how’s that for a measurement?)
- a pinch or two of sea salt
- several grindings of freshly ground black pepper
Thinly slice the vegetables using a mandolin or good knife. Cut the beet and fennel slices into thin batons using your knife. (If, unlike me, you can figure out how to change the blades in your mandolin, you could use it to make the batons.) Mince the ginger on a fine rasp or with your knife.
Put all the vegetables in a bowl, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, ginger, salt and pepper. Toss well, then taste and adjust the seasonings.
Ginger can be pretty powerful, so if you’re unsure how much to use, just start with a bit and add more until it’s to your liking. Which is pretty much my recommendation for all seasoning in general. It’s always easier to add more than to adjust for over seasoning.
Plate the salad, garnish with a celery leaf and enjoy.