Cooking from the Pantry: Celery-Apple Salad
Sometimes a salad is born of necessity, like when I ordered pizza on Tuesday night and then peeked in the fridge for a salad to go along with…and nothing really looked like a salad, including those two bunches of celery in the crisper.
Celery rarely has a starring role. It’s part of an ensemble on a crudite platter, it’s a chaser (afterthought?) to buffalo wings, it’s passed over on the salad bar for grated carrot, or jicama. Even when it does star, as in cream of celery soup, it’s probably just going to end up in a casserole. But, last night, it was time to let celery be a star.
I know, you’re saying, “What? Celery?” But think about it, you’ve probably had apple and celery before, slathered in mayo as part of a chicken salad sandwich or a Waldorf salad. This salad takes a simpler, fresher approach and is dressed in an apple cider vinaigrette with a touch of honey. It’s got new year’s resolution written all over it!
Honeycrisps have ruined me for any other eating apple (no really, the other apples that crossed my threshold this season were the ones that came in the CSA box), but any reddish apple with good crunch and sweetness will work. The color contrast is key, as is the sweetness, so this isn’t the place for a Granny Smith, unless it’s all you’ve got, and in that case, I’d add a bit more honey to the dressing.
I won’t expect that this’ll become your #1 go-to, but I think you’ll be surprised at how lovely and crunchy and fresh the combo of apple and celery can be. And for those nights when nothing looks like salad, well, there’s always celery.