Celery is a bit of a hard sell–at least when it’s supposed to be the star ingredient. It’s easy to use a bit here and there minced into a stew or soup, but it tends to languish on the crudite platter or even in the crisper drawer.
Then there’s always that “kid-friendly” recipe, “ants on a log” where you slather it with peanut butter and decorate with raisin ants. Did anyone actually like this, or was it just me who just ate the raisins off, and then (separately) the peanut butter? (Yeah, I never got the appeal).
To add insult to injury, since celery is so often pushed as the “healthy” or “lo-fat” alternative to chips and nuts, it sometimes smacks of deprivation.
Don’t feel deflated! I say, dress it up with an anchovy vinaigrette. The briney, punchy taste of anchovies works wonders on a simple salad comprised of nothing but chilled chopped celery. It’s a surprising combination that’s fresh and crunchy. And light without being too virtuous.
- 10 stalks of celery
- 1/4 cup (60mL) olive oil
- 2-3 anchovy fillets
- juice of one lemon or 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar.
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced.
- fresh parsley for garnish
Make the vinaigrette: If you have an immersion blender or similar equipment, combine all vinaigrette ingredients and blend until well emulsified into a golden liquid. Taste it, and add additional salt if needed. (I always add salt after tasting, because anchovies are salty to start with). If you don’t have an immersion blender, chop the anchovies finely (they will eventually become a paste), and mix with the garlic and lemon juice or vinegar. Then drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly to emulsify and combine.
Drain the celery well, and dress with the vinaigrette. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Note: This post originally appeared on Honest Cooking