Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Great Celery Salad

You heard me right, I made Celery Salad. I had a bunch of celery in my fridge was faced with a dilemna that most shoppers had when buying celery. Usually, recipes only call for a small amount of celery. But you can't buy celery for just a teensy-tiny amount. Celery comes in he-man sizes as big as my thigh here in Korea.

So I had this celery in my fridge and most of the upper leaves have already wilted. Then while reading the Food & Dining section of the New York Times paper online, I found interesting recipes for celery. One of them was a recipe for celery and raw mushrooms, button mushrooms to be exact.I was kinda leery about the raw button mushrooms bit. But the instructions was to
slice the mushrooms very thinly.

Like so with the celery, the celery ribs should be washed very well, dried and then sliced thinly. Then you can add other veggies of your choice: like thinly-sliced carrots (for color and additional texture), thinly sliced white onions (which I think every salad should have) and some green sprouts to substitute for the parsley that is suggested in the recipe. Then you toss everything in a large bowl to get it all nicely mixed up.

Then, you take a handful or two and pile it on your plate. It looked interesting, by this time I was wondering if it was going to taste good as well. I had never had eaten raw mushrooms before, well, except for enoki mushrooms.

I had some stale, thick bread in my freezer. I decided it was time to make croutons. It's really easy to make them. You take a hot pan, drizzle generously with olive oil, toss in your bread cubes and some minced garlic. Drizzle more olive oil and keep stirring the pan until the cubes become nicely brown and toasted. Sprinkle some iodized salt and pepper and continue tossing for about a minute or too. Take out from the pan, let cool and taste it. Oh man, it's so good even for snacking.

Now this is my plate, with the croutons and a generous drizzle of antipasto salad dressing. If you don't have this kind of dressing, any tart salad dressing will do like a vinagrette or lemon-based dressing. I tasted a forkful and I was in heaven. The creamy mushroom slices was a perfect foil for the crunchy celery, onion and carrot. It was a great salad. And the perfect start for our dinner tonight - Spaghetti.

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