Celery is a vegetable we could not do without. But most of the time it does not feature as an ingredient in its own right. Rather, it is sauteed with other aromatics as a flavouring component in a dish. Celery salads do appear occasionally at the Summer table, and we also have pickles, snacks, soups and baked dishes for your. Over to you – I hope you enjoy.
Sometimes we forget that simplest is bestest.
Elizabeth David is the best source of simple but utterly delicious salads. I love to read her books, and today I have taken the liberty of reproducing some of her beautiful salads.
Similar posts include 30 Great Salads for Early Summer.
Yoghurt is used in salads all over the world, except, it seems, in cuisines such as English based countries. Let’s remedy that by mixing yoghurt and cream (yum!) and using it to dress apples and celery. It is delicious.
Add some fresh walnuts if you wish. They go really well with celery and apples.
I have a little New Year project going on for a year or so – focusing on recipes from Ottolengi’s Plenty More. I am afraid this book has been neglected before this project, even though it is a favourite in his collection. You will have noticed a few of his recipes appearing on the blog as they are scheduled and posted.
SO, Happy Weekend! And, in case you’ve just opened your eyes, a little weary after last night, not to mention the last few weeks of holidays and non-stop munching and gulping, get yourself into the kitchen and make this salad. It has the amazing quality of tasting equally healthy, tangy and comforting, just at a time when you need a little miracle. Truly this is the case.
I do hope that you enjoy this recipe. Celery Salads are rare, and I am always on the lookout for good ones to complement our collection.
We have compiled 30 Great Mid Summer Salads for you, so it is very easy to vary your salads each day.
Think outside the box for Breakfast, especially in Summer.
Prepare your breakfast dishes, make a large pot of coffee, set the table on the verandah, deck, or under the grapevines, take the newspaper or a book, and enjoy a leisurely Summer breakfast.
A wonderful Winter salad is apple and celery with walnuts – seasonal, healthy, crunchy and delicious. This easy salad has a blended dressing made with seeds (sunflower or pepitas – pumpkin seeds), miso and umeboshi plums.
Similar recipes include Mustard Turmeric Dressing, Celery Salad with Lemon and Feta, Miso and Ginger Dressing, Miso and Tofu Dipping Sauce and Dressing, Miso-Tahini Molasses Dressing and Miso-Sesame Dressing.
Gigantes are Greek Giant Beans (the name always reminds me of Jack and the Beanstalk). You can get them from Greek shops, or Lima Beans (Butter Beans) are wonderful substitutes.
Recipes for Gigantes abound across Greece, and they often involve baking. If soaked, cooked and then baked, the beans are so soft and creamy. Often they are cooked in a terracotta pot.
Our recipe today, a traditional one from Greece, bakes the beans with celery and a tomato base. It takes some time to make – soak the beans overnight, simmer for 60 – 90 mins, then bake for 60 – 90 mins. I recommend it for a quiet Sunday morning (for lunch) or afternoon (for dinner). Slow, wonderful cooking. However, each step is easy, with hardly any oversight required.
The success of this dish depends on each step – soak well, cook the beans until tender but not completely cooked, bake until creamy. And it depends on the quality of the olive oil – ensure current season, good quality oil if you can. And always store your oil in dark bottles or tins in a dark cupboard away from heat, light and the sun’s rays.
This is a beautiful dish with Roman origins, from Sicily. There is something beautifully different about some of the taste combinations you’ll find in Sicily, especially the tendency to combine sweet and sour – a legacy, they say, of ancient Roman days when sweet dates were used instead of tomatoes and sugar.
La caponata, one of the most famous Sicilian dishes, is a good example. It’s a cousin to the ratatouille of Provence. Caponata features eggplant, with celery, tomato and onions along with capers and olives. These are typical Southern Italian flavours. And it has that sweet-and-sour touch that perfectly balances out the flavours. It layers different flavours one upon the other, and, if you care to cook it for 30 mins or more, the flavours are deep and glorious and the consistency almost jam-like.
Serve Caponata on its own, hot or room temperature, on a Sunday afternoon (with a glass of wine, of course), or in the traditional manner as an antipasto. Caponata can be served on bruschetta, with flatbread or with salad leaves, and it’s also perfect as a side dish or even as a relish.
Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray note warily in the River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook that “there are as many ways to make caponata as there are cooks in Sicily”, a fact confirmed by Giorgio Locatelli, who claims that “in every house and in every restaurant you will find a different version and opinion.”
There are many versions of Caponata on Sicily – apparently 37 official versions, depending on local customs. The differences lie in the addition of different vegetables, for example potatoes, bell peppers, zucchini.
The secret to a good caponata is the quality of the eggplant, tomatoes and vinegar.
This is a recipe from our first blog which ran from 1995 – 2006. You can browse all of the vegetarian recipes from that blog in our Retro Recipes series.
There is celery growing in the garden, but we’re not great celery eaters. Of course, in Winter, it is an essential in all sorts of vegetable and other braises – Barley, for example – and Soups of course. It is an essential thing to have. But we are not big on celery salads, or raw sticks. Unless there is a killer dip to go with the sticks.
But our young celery brings to the kitchen the delicious celery flavour of its micro-thin stems and young, crunchy leaves. Both do go beautifully in salads and when we make a herb salad, our celery leaves and stems form a vital part. We also use it in place of flat leafed parsley. It is divine.
When I came across a recipe from Ottolenghi using Celery Leaves as an ingredient I was delighted. Moreso, as we had kohlrabi and beetroot innocently sitting in the vegetable crisper. It was meant to be. Frankly, I can’t get enough of this salad, with the beautiful crispness of the apple, beetroot and kohlrabi.
Use a mandolin to cut the beetroot, kohlrabi and apple into thin slices. This also works well if you julienne them into thin sticks (which I love). Ottolenghi suggests using Candy Beetroot for extra visual oomph – if you have them, great. If not, use your normal, run-of-the-mill beets.
I am using my purple chillies from the garden, which may be Naga Jolokia Purple Chillies (the plant does look so similar), but is more likely Purple Jalapeño. Whatever, you don’t need exotic chillies to make this work. Ottolenghi suggests urfa chilli flakes, but I say use fresh or dried chillies, whatever you have. I have also made this with Korean Chilli Flakes. Perfect.
Today it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.
Or try these Beetroot Salads: Beetroot and Mint Salad, Roasted Beetroot with Maple Dressing, Beets with a Herb Dressing, Beets with a Honey Ginger Dressing and Beetroot and Carrot Salad with Indian Spices.
Still want more? Check all Ottolenghi dishes, all Kohlrabi recipes and all Beetroot Recipes. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. We have so many delicious Salads worth exploring. Or make a cuppa and work through our Early Autumn dishes. Enjoy!
They say that Burrata is the best thing since sliced bread. And certainly it is very very good. A delicious mozzarella shell filled with thick cream. Has your mind gone to heaven? Indeed. It is simply the dreamiest. Creamy, luscious – burrata is Italian for butter, if that gives you any clues on how beautiful it can be.
Burrata is quite difficult to find here, in our little outback town of Adelaide. Not so in other cities, where it perches on the shelves of every supermarket. I had to search hard to find it within reasonable driving distance of my home. It took some time – distributors and cheese makers were not willing to help – I contacted several – but persistence paid and I found a reliable source not far from my work. That is Adelaide for you.
One of the great things about Burrata is that it is perfect for replacing coddled or poached eggs in salads. Thus for those who, like me, avoid cooking with eggs, the creaminess of the interior with the soft mozzarella coating brings that something that soft cooked eggs give to salads and baked dishes.
Celery salads are so rare, but I love one particular recipe, it is my favourite use of celery. I have modified it here to include the burrata. I hope you enjoy it. The origin is an Ottolenghi salad but the recipe keeps morphing into a dish that is appearing more and more often on our table.
Oh, and the other ingredient that is introduced in this salad, is Sour Grapes. Yes, I know, you all know those who are always full of sour grapes. But, it is also an exciting ingredient. Preserved sour grapes can be found in jars in Middle Eastern and Afghani groceries. They taste sour and briney, and a little like capers and caper berries. They are great in salads and in dishes where a sour taste is called for to balance other flavours. Pick some up today (or use capers in place of the grapes).
Similar recipes include Celery Salad with Lemon and Feta, Spinach and Watercress Salad with Ricotta, Purslane Salad with Herbs and Burrata, Celery Yoghurt Salad, Nashi Pear and Celery Salad, and some Simple Celery Salads.