I had a big event planned for this evening in my home – a Challah bake incorporating ingredients that are linked to the Jewish theme of the month. Interestingly, the Jewish month is Shevat, which is supposed to be a month that ushers in the Spring. Can you imagine?? Spring…. in New York in January?? Well, kind of and not exactly. The Jewish calender relates to Israel. So Spring in Israel, maybe, but even they just had a huge snow storm that shut down the city for days. So why do I tell you all of this…. because I had to cancel my event due to Snowstorm Hercules. We are about to be pounded with snow. Right now, it’s so beautiful outside – a dusting of white, clean and pure snow. It’s so so quiet outside. In this quietness, I like to make a little something, while gazing out my window in a sort of dreamy state, chopping up some celery. Hopefully, not my finger.
The easiest salad to assemble with the dear ol’ celery, that is so often overlooked and mostly used as a backbone in a dish. I have a can of white kidney beans, although you can use cannellini beans (almost the same) in the sense that they are both buttery and soft. Heat it up and toss with the the chopped celery. Add a squeeze of lemon and slivered almonds, because I just love almonds with just about anything, especially in a salad that’s gluten free. Although I added raisins, you can add any currants you like, if you are looking for sweetness, or completely forgo it. I like this salad both ways. I can assure you that every thing in this recipe most people (that like to eat) would have as staples in their pantry. Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is that?
8 large celery stalks, stripped of strings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans, heated
3 tablespoons raisins
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Sea salt, to taste
- Slice the celery stalks quite thinly.
- Then, in a small bowl, make a paste with the olive oil, lemon juice, and Parmesan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl toss the heated beans with the olive-Parmesan mixture. When well combined, add the celery, raisins, and most of the almonds. Toss once more. Taste and add a bit of salt if needed.
- Serve in a bowl or platter and top with some more Parmesan.