I’m not sure that I heard of a celery salad prior to dinner at Ava Gene’s. I didn’t have the salad when we had dinner there but it didn’t leave my mind. I did a search for celery salad recently and came across a recipe on Bon Appetit, and as it happens this recipe was part of a series of salads from Ava Gene’s! You might remember I tried to recreate the Pear Fennel salad I had there, which came out delicious but not quite like the dish I had at the restaurant.
I’ve been a bit skeptical about 1 vegetable salads, thinking they might be too boring, but after making the carrot salad and this celery salad, I’m a skeptic no more. It’s really about taking a vegetable and adding a few flavors to enhance, not overwhelm. It's a simple approach that works remarkably well.
I like this salad a lot, celery is wonderfully fresh and crunchy, I swapped out the dates with dried cherries and it worked really well. So if you find yourself hankering for a salad and have a bunch of celery on hand, I highly recommend giving this salad a try. It’s a light salad that makes a perfect side dish, we ended up having this salad with tacos!
Celery Salad with Dried Cherries + Almonds
(adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 8 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal, leaves separated
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 oz. Parmesan, shaved
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread out almonds on a small rimmed baking sheet; toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. You can also toast them in a non-stick skillet on your stove top (I add a pinch of salt to the pan), stirring frequently for about 5-6 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.
Toss almonds, celery, celery leaves, dates, and lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add Parmesan and oil and toss gently; season with red pepper flakes.