Celery Salad

This salad is perfect. So perfect I’ve made it multiple times in one week and STILL felt like I could make it again without getting sick of it. As a kid celery was my absolute least favorite food — I wish I could have seen the future then. Thank Alison Roman for this genius recipe (very modestly and barely adjusted).

Ingredients: (serves 3-4)

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or more as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon white sesame seeds and 1/2 tablespoon black sesame seeds (or 1 tablespoon of either one, if you don’t have a mix)
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts, sliced on the bias
  • 4-5 celery stalks (and leaves), thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1-2 cups cilantro, leaves and stems, torn or cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 fresh green or red chile (both are pretty!), such as jalapeno or thai chile, thinly sliced.

2 notes:

1) The dressing ingredients make more dressing than you might need. I have reduced the amount of oil called for in the original recipe because it didn’t feel necessary to me, but still feel free to adjust your amount of salad ingredients (e.g. add more celery, because you definitely want more of this salad) or reserve some of the dressing for later (for when you make more salad, because you’ll want to).

2) “On the bias” – if that’s a new term for you – just means on the diagonal. This salad will still be excellent no matter how you cut the celery and scallions, but it will feel like fancy salad if you cut the veggies on a fancy angle.

Preparation:

Toast your sesame seeds if they are not already toasted – heat over medium in a small skillet, stirring regularly, until they take on some color and smell nutty. Set aside.

Add all the liquid ingredients and oils to a large bowl with the celery, jalapeno, and scallion. Stir to coat. Add the cilantro just before serving (it will wilt more quickly), and top with sesame seeds and some fresh ground pepper.

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