Friday, February 12, 2010

Food: Celery Root, Fennel, and Apple Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette and Hazelnuts

Hearty, crunchy, crisp, slightly sweet, nutty...all words to describe the fabulous salad I made last weekend. I was inspired by Molly's latest creation in Bon Appetit this past month. It sounded unique - besides the fact I had been curious about the ugly looking celery root in my grocery store the past few visits. I did modify the recipe, adding an extra apple (and changing from Gala to my favorite sweet-tart-crisp Pink Lady) and since I didn't have hazelnut oil or feel like driving to a specialty food store to get it, I decided to slightly modify the dressing and added roughly chopped hazelnuts in the salad. Actually I rather liked the crunch, texture and color the hazelnuts provided to the salad...I think the color may have been too monotone without them. It also would be pretty to sprinkle some chopped fennel tops over the dish.

Even though I made this salad on a cold winter day, I think it would be a great hearty salad in the summer since everything in it is cool and juicy. Actually it would make me feel pretty good to have this on a beach day where I wanted something cold, healthy, yet filling. (I'm especially thinking about this seeing all of the snow everyone's been getting over the past week).

Also, to you gardeners out there looking for something that keeps over the winter months (or people who are intrigued by something and end up buying things at the grocery store they don't use right away (myself included)), apparently celery root lasts for several months in the fridge or a cold cellar...so feel free to buy one to have on hand.

Celery Root, Fennel, and Apple Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette & Hazelnuts
Adapted from Bon Appetit (Molly Wizenberg) - February 2010

INGREDIENTS

Vinaigrette
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c olive oil
Salad
  • 1 celery root, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
  • 1 fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 2 unpeeled Pink Lady apples, cored, cut into strips
  • 1/3 c hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • Top with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese (MM Tip: Use a veggie peeler to get nice curls of parmesan)
DIRECTIONS
  • For the vinaigrette, whisk together all of the ingredients except the oil in a small bowl. When those are mixed, slowly whisk in the olive oil.
  • Combine all of the salad ingredients in one bowl. Toss with vinaigrette. Top with shaved parmesan.

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