Sometimes you see a recipe and you just know it will please you. I’ve blogged about a similar version years ago, but this one is more substantial and even if you are a celery hater, you might enjoy it. My little tip: peel the celery before slicing it. It’s not that hard, just pull the strings that sit on top of the ridges, they come off easily and that unpleasant (for some) texture of stringy celery will be history.  Another twist that makes this salad special is adding the Parmigiano cheese in small chunks. Use a fork and go at it. I found this recipe over at Cookie & Kate’s blog, and made it almost on that same day.  They added garlic, I did not. Other than that, no changes.

(from Cookie & Kate)

2 cups large pitted green olives, drained and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup sliced celery (from 2 to 3 medium ribs)
½ cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
2 ounces Parmigiano cheese, crumbled with a fork or knife point
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I added one extra tablespoon before serving)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Kosher salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
Leaves from celery ribs, roughly chopped, for garnish

In a medium bowl, toss all of the ingredients except the celery leaves together. Taste, and adjust the seasonings to your preference.

Garnish with the chopped celery leaves. Refrigerate until needed. Leftovers are even better after a couple of days in the fridge. 


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This concoction not only works well as a side-dish for many types of protein, but you could slice some sourdough or simple baguette and use it as a topping, serving as appetizer before a dinner party, for instance. The flavors get more intense in a couple of days, and the almonds mellow down in texture a bit. Amazing what braces can do, I now have to worry (a lot) about texture. In fact, if you are cooking for someone wearing braces, opt for slivered almonds. They are a bit more “predictable” in terms of their crunch. When you chop whole almonds coarsely, some bits end up with incredibly sharp edges. Of course, I am aware that 99.99% of my readers don’t have to worry about it. Still, it doesn’t hurt to mention. Just in case. When I make this salad again, slivered almond will be playing…  Side note, I am almost reaching the 6 month mark of braces on a 2 year voyage, and I am so ready to be done (sigh).

ONE YEAR AGO: Coffee Macarons Dressed up to Party

TWO YEARS AGO: Blogging Hiatus


FOUR YEARS AGO: Headed to Colorado!   

FIVE YEARS AGO: Farofa Brasileira

SIX  YEARS AGO: Thai-Inspired Pork Tenderloin

SEVEN YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

EIGHT YEARS AGO:  Summer’s Tomatoes

NINE YEARS AGO: Leaving on a jet plane… 




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.