Monday, August 1, 2011

Celery, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad


This quick and easy salad has it all. It’s perfect for something different during the summer months when mac and potato salads reign. It’s tangy, crunchy, creamy and just delicious. Toasting the walnuts in a dry skillet before adding into the salad, gives them such a depth of flavor. It brings out the oils within the nut so that the walnut flavor explodes in your mouth. When they combine with the crisp crunch of the celery and the creamy, tanginess of the blue cheese it’s just wonderful. This salad should be made shortly before serving. The bit of vinegar in the dressing will start to wilt and break down the celery. I guess you could always make it ahead but don’t toss it with the dressing until just before serving. Makes enough for 4 side salads.

What You Need:

a small head of celery (about 8-10 stalks)
1 c walnut halves
1/2 c blue cheese, crumbled or cut into small chuncks
2 tbs red wine or apple cider vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper

What To Do:

In a small skillet toast the walnuts by heating them gently over medium heat. Stir them often, making sure to watch them. They will go from perfect to burnt very quickly. Once they are hot, and you start to smell them, they’re done. Turn off the heat and remove them from the pan. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, remove the bottoms and leaves from the celery and wipe clean. Slice the stalks on a diagonal and place into a large bowl along with the crumbled blue cheese. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar and olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper. Once the nuts are cool, add them into the bowl with the celery and blue cheese. Pour the dressing over the top, toss it all together well and serve.

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