Two nights ago it was all I could do to stop eating this amazing simple salad. 4 ingredients make up this salad, and the only caveats are that the celery should be organic, the pecorino should be soft--ask the cheese person for a pecorino "fresco", and the olive oil should be of good quality---more on olive oil in another post. Umbria is famous for its celery--in the fall the Sagra di Sedano Nero is a festival held in the town of Trevi just south of Spello where they celebrate the "black" celery--it's not really black, they cover the root end of the celery, so that the leaves become a deep dark green. As with any Italian festival it involves a LOT of food! In celebration of celery (click here to read about its nutritional properties) I give you Daniela's Celery Salad and a poem by Ogden Nash. Buon appetito!
Daniela's Insalata di Sedano
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
one large head of celery
1 cup pecorino cheese, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (see note)
1 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 to 3/4 cup good quality olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
- Remove any outer stalks of celery that are damaged, or very tough. Remove any tough strings for the celery stalks, and discard.
- Chop the celery into 1/2-inch slices, including the leaves, and put into a mixing bowl.
- Add the cheese and walnuts, and toss with the olive oil. Depending on how much celery you have, you may need up to a cup of oil. Season the salad with salt and pepper and serve.
- Note about the cheese: If you can't find a good pecorino cheese, I would recommend Parmigiano Reggiano as a substitute.
Celeryby Ogden Nash
Develops the jaw,
But celery, stewed,
Is more quietly chewed.