|Margarita's Restaurant Recipes|
This salad is very simple and surprisingly delicious. The original version (which you can find in the Bay Wolf cookbook) is a little bit more complicated as it calls for both celery stalks and celery root. The latter ingredient is a variety of celery and not the bottom of the celery heart as we first assumed. Alas, we didn't get it so I had to make the salad with just celery, fortunately that worked pretty well though Mike would like to try it with the celery root sometime. I also deviated from the original recipe in using red wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar. I couldn't find sherry vinegar at either of my two local supermarkets (I later found it at Andronico's, where I paid $10 for a bottle!, but by then it was too late). I was able to find walnut oil, and I used it, but at $8 a bottle this salad becomes deceptively expensive. My final change was that I didn't add blue cheese to the salad. Simply, I forgot - I had it in the fridge and I meant to add it. Mike thinks the salad would have been even better with the blue cheese. Finally, I significantly decreased the amount of vegetables the recipe called for - now it should serve 4 as a light salad.
For the Vinaigrette
1 shallot, minced 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar 1/8 tsp. thyme salt and pepper 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. walnut oil
For the salad
1 bunch celery 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 cup walnuts 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar 1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves salt and pepper 2 tbsp. blue cheese, crumbled (optional)
Prepare the vinaigrette by combining the shallot, the vinegar, the thyme and salt and pepper and letting the mixture stand for at least half an hour. Add the walnut oil and mix well.
Separate the celery stalks and cut them in several parts. Blanch them, dry well and put in a salad bowl. Add part of the vinaigrette and mix well. Take four of the stalks and slice thinly, making diagonal cuts. Return the celery slices to the bowl. In a small pan, heat the olive oil. Add the walnuts and sugar and cook until they caramelize, stirring often. Add walnuts and parsley leaves to the celery. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a bit more of the vinaigrette and mix well. Add blue cheese (optional). Serve.
Adapted from the recipe for Celery Root and Celery Heart Salad with Blue Cheese and Glazed Walnuts, page 44 of the Bay Wolf Restaurant Cookbook.