This super-simple salad was a burst of Spring in the middle of Winter. With only two ingredients and the dressing, it was hard to imagine its fresh flavor.  Had I just seen it in print I probably wouldn’t have tried it. But, something different happens after reading food blogs for years:  you enter a virtual forum of people with similar tastes, so if someone gives a recipe “two thumbs up,” it goes directly into a folder of “Upcoming Attractions at the Dinner Table.”   Unfortunately, they often they sit in my folder for a long time (just last week I found a printout from 2001 with a note beside it: make it next week   😉

I spotted this gem on Fer’s blog,  Chucrute com Salsicha (so, those who want the recipe in Portuguese can get it clicking here), and I’m delighted that a decade didn’t pass before I tried it!

(adapted from Chucrute com Salsicha, original recipe from The Sacramento Bee)

1 small shallot, finely minced
1/2 T Dijon mustard
2 T Champagne vinegar
6 T good quality olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 green apples, grated
3/4 cup celery, sliced very thin
1 T black sesame seeds (optional)

Make the dressing by adding the minced shallot, mustard and vinegar to the serving bowl.  Mix well and slowly add the olive oil, constantly whisking to form an emulsion.  Season with salt and pepper, then taste the dressing and adjust seasoning as needed.

Grate the apples and add them to the dressing, mix well. Add the celery, mix, and sprinkle sesame seeds on top just before serving.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Champagne vinegar isn’t easy to find, but it’s worth searching for.  It has a mild flavor and low acidity, perfect for dressing a simple salad.  Following Fer’s suggestion, I didn’t peel the apples, just passed them through the grating disk of my food processor, and then changed the disk to slice the celery.  Of course, if you are feeling particularly ambitious you can also grate and slice by hand.   Black sesame seeds add a festive note of contrast that I love.

Note to self: For a dinner party, this salad will be nice served inside raddichio leaves, for contrasting color and texture. Nigella seeds or cocoa nibs might top the salad equally well.


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