I have a confession to make – I watch Ina Garten’s cooking show, Barefoot Contessa, on the Food Network every day while I eat lunch. I know… I know… We’re not supposed to watch TV or be distracted while eating – but it is one of my very favorite things! Sounds silly, right? But, it is so relaxing to me… Not to mention I learn so much. I swear, I learn something new every time I watch her – which I suppose is one reason she has been so successful!
Her recipes are by no means what I would categorize as “clean eating” – but she’s got several that with some light tweaking, they are wonderful for you! And that is the story with her Celery Salad with Parmesan.
I’ve made a few minor adjustments that don’t change the flavor at all, but help the salad become more anti-inflammatory. For example: I suggest a raw parmesan cheese vs a processed parmesan.
***Fun thing to note regarding dairy: Did you know that most people who deal with lactose intolerance can actually tolerate raw dairy vs processed? It’s the heat in the processing of cheese/dairy that denatures the lactose and that most often causes the issue for people who are lactose intolerant. Now, I am not insinuating that you if you are lactose intolerant that you go out and eat a bunch of raw cheese – but I do suggest you give it a try and see how you feel – maybe an ounce at most, to start… See how it goes! Quality really can be everything!
I like to serve this with some simple grilled chicken or salmon… It is cleansing and refreshing during the hotter months!
Hope you enjoy!
Crunchy Celery Salad with Raw Parmesan
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Celery and Parmesan Salad
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 lemon, juice only, divided
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 tsp celery seed
- ½ tsp celery salt
- ½ tsp anchovy paste
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- approx. 12 stalks celery + leaves, thinly sliced at an angle
- 4-ounce block raw/unpasteurized Parmesan cheese*
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- ½ bunch cilantro, leaves only
- At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, juice of 1 ½ lemons, shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
- Then, place the celery in a large bowl and toss it with the remaining juice of the leftover ½ lemon and ½ teaspoon salt (Ina says this is an important step and I must say – after making this, I 100% agree!). Add enough of the dressing in step one to the celery to moisten well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.
- When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the Parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle with walnuts, cilantro leaves, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.
- You will probably only need to use about ¼ cup of the dressing, so you will have about ¾ cup leftover. It is GREAT on other salads or to use as a marinade for fish! So don’t let it go to waste!
- You can sub a raw manchego (sheep’s milk) cheese if you cannot find raw parm.