I recently mentioned my unshakable love for all things celery, and my love for Ina Garten is no secret.
So when I saw her make this salad a few years back on Barefoot Contessa, it should come as no surprise that it was the very next thing I made.
It was delicious. And I didn’t even need “good” olive oil.
I swear, that woman wants you to break out the good olive oil for every dish!
Seeing as that isn’t possible on anything but an East Hampton budget, I’m here to tell you that the only thing you need to splurge on for this recipe is organic celery. Even then, it isn’t really necessary. I just figure if celery is going to be the star, get some good celery!
The rest of the salad ingredients are pretty standard, except for the anchovy paste. If you don’t have any, I’m begging you – give it a shot! When used in small amounts, it won’t add a fishy taste to anything, I swear! It’s simply another layer of salty umami goodness that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you know it’s tasty as all get-out.
From the dressing to the garnishes, everything in this salad manages to add interesting and complex flavors while putting the celery on a pedestal of celebratory awesomeness.
This is easily one of of my favorite salads.
Eat this alongside a heavy main course for a refreshing and crunchy side salad, or even as a bed for a slow roasted piece of salmon, as I did the other day!
Celery and Parmesan Salad
From Ina Garten
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cups thinly sliced celery hearts, tender leaves included, sliced on an angle (about 12 stalks)
- 4-ounce chunk Parmesan cheese
- 2/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Whole flat-leaf parsley leaves
- At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, the shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place the celery in a mixing bowl and toss it with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. (Even though these ingredients are in the dressing, believe me-this step makes a difference.) Add enough dressing to moisten well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.
- When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the Parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle with walnuts, parsley leaves, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.