Celery-Apple Salad with Currants and Walnuts
The Savory Way by Deborah Madison
This is a sophisticated cousin to the familiar Waldorf salad, but the creamy dressing is replaced with a walnut oil vinaigrette. Crisp and refreshing in taste and appearance, celery salad travels well and is put together easily. The pale green celery and golden apples are very pretty dotted with currants, and the salad contains nothing you can't buy in a supermarket. However, if you have garden thinnings of rocket (arugula), mustard greens, cress, or nasturtium leaves, you can strew them over the top and then toss them in just before serving.
Use a dark-colored walnut oil with the rich flavor of nuts or try using a hazelnut oil and hazelnuts in place of the walnuts. If neither of these oils is available, use a sunflower seed or light olive oil mixed with a little dark sesame oil.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 1 large head of celery
- 2 Golden Delicious apples
- 5 or 6 pale green celery leaves
- 4 parsley branches
- 10 walnuts, cracked and left in large pieces
- 1 to 2 tablespoons walnut oil
- lemon juice or Champagne vinegar
- freshly ground pepper
If the currants are hard, cover them with warm water and set them aside to soften while you cut the celery and apples. When they're soft, after 10 minutes or so, drain them and squeeze out the water.
Separate the stalks of celery and peel the tougher outer stalks. Slice the celery into thin pieces, straight across or at an angle. Cut the apples into quarters or sixths if they're large and thinly slice them crosswise. Finely chop the celery leaves and the parsley and crack the nuts.
Combine the celery, apples, currants, celery leaves, parsley, and walnuts in a bowl. Toss them with just enough walnut oil to coat everything lightly. Add the lemon juice or vinegar to taste, salt lightly, season with pepper, and toss again.
Excerpted from THE SAVORY WAY by Deborah Madison Copyright© 1998 by Deborah Madison. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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