A crunchy, fresh, mid-winter salad that will awaken your taste buds while energizing & nourishing your everything else :). It’s a great make-ahead salad, too, designed to store and travel for several days worth of lunches or side-dishes.
That was your reaction, right? 🙂
If it was closer to a sigh, perhaps I can convince you otherwise. Because celery rocks. And, in all seriousness, this simple celery salad may be just what you need to both cheer and inspire a weary palate (and spirit) in this bleak mid-winter we call February.
Here’s why: in addition to being crunchy, fresh, quick & easy (my cooking m.o.), inexpensive, minimalist (celery & lemons + basic pantry staples), this verdant salad also tastes like a promise of bright spring days to come. I don’t know about the weather in your neck of the woods, but it is cold, grey and drizzly as I type today, so I need all of the hints of spring I can get!
It’s pretty, too. February needs plenty of pretty.
Here’s the entirety of ingredients: midwinter friendly produce (celery, both the stalks and leaves, lemon & parsley), olive oil, salt, and celery seed. That’s it! It may sound basic, but the sum is far greater than the parts.
Fancy versions of salt and olive oil are not required, but if you have some, this salad is the place for both because the flavor of each will shine through (no competing flavors, only complementary ones).
I was not kidding when I mentioned at the beginning that this is the salad you need if you are feeling weary. Leafy greens and other deeply hued vegetables are routinely touted for their health benefits, but celery is a humble hero. Humble, because it is overlooked as a background vegetable, and hero because it is loaded–LOADED–with nutrients, including the following:
*Essentially sugar-free: almost zero value on glycemic index
*Kick-butt levels of Vitamin K: excellent for bone density & heart health
*Antioxidant awesomeness: major source of wide range of antioxidants, which offer protection from free radicals)
*Potassium power: 1 cup chopped has 263 mg, rivaling bananas (362 mg for small banana), but without the sugar!
*High fiber fabulous: both soluble and insoluble–great for your gut!
*Rich in vitamins A & C: think beautiful skin, healthy immune system & more
Impressive, right? And while you can always crunch a stalk, dunk a chunk in some hummus, or fill a piece with peanut butter, I think you will be as impressed by the taste of this salad as you are by its nutrition powerhouse properties.
Here’s my closing clincher: this is a make-ahead, portable salad winner. Make a big batch; it will be even more delicious in subsequent days. Pack it in jars, stuff it in pitas with some hummus, and/or add in different extras to make it more hearty (e.g., toasted nuts/seeds, raisins, chunks or crumbles of dairy or nondairy cheese, whatever floats your boat).
Quick note: if you plan to store the salad for several days, keep the leaves in a separate container (dry) and then add some to the salad when ready to serve (otherwise they will be wilted, which is ok, but its better when they are not).
This California native wishes you a very crunchy, totally radical Monday. Be well, friends!
- 6 cups sliced celery (fairly thin), PLUS 1 cup of the celery leaves, chilled
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or oil of choice)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsely leaves
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon celery seed (or more to taste)
- large pinch of sea salt (or to taste)
- In a large bowl, toss together all of the ingredients. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Celery Seed Options: The celery seeds can be omitted or you can substitute up to 1 teaspoons of dried herbs such as dill, herbes de Provence, or basil.
Celery Leaves: If you plan to store the salad for several days, keep the leaves in a separate container (dry) and then add some to the salad when ready to serve