Monday, September 20, 2010

Simply Not Simple Salad

I've been feeling somewhat guilty for not posting until now, and quite honestly, a little intimidated by this new batch of experienced bloggers since I've started sharing Bethany's viewership --- a viewership that I'm quite certain is all female, which then pours another healthy dose of Awkward into my near empty vessel of self-confidence.  Nevertheless, I shall do my best.

As I mentioned, I figured it was about time I put something on this blog of ours, and this recipe won't disappoint (hopefully).  Yes, these are three ingredients that tend to be very "everyday" or "pedestrian" to our pallettes, but when put together, they form a single flavor greater than the sum of its parts.  This dish actually came about from a chopped salad that I had made for dinner one day.  I had pretty much chopped up every available piece of produce and thrown it in a bowl with some lettuce.  As I was eating it, I found myself being struck by a certain combination of ingredients.  In fact, I can remember saying to Bethany, "You know what really tastes good together?".  And then, almost at the same time we both said, "The apples, celery and cheese".  Simple ingredients...not simple flavor.  So, here it is:  the best of what our chopped salad had to offer...because who needs lettuce anyway.

Celery, Apple & Cheese Salad w/homemade vinaigrette
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced thin
  • 1 crisp, tart apple, sliced thin (suggested Granny Smith or Gala...just no Red Delicious...come on, people! :)
  • 1 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, sliced thin (the sharper the better)
  • 2 - 3 basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
For the Salad:
- Place a slice of apple in the middle of a plate.
- Place about 5 or 6 slices of celery on top of the apple slice...however much it takes to cover the apple.
- Rip off 2 or 3 small pieces of basil and place them on top of the celery.
- Place one slice of cheese on top of the basil.
- Repeat these steps as many times as you like, using the cheese every other repetition.  It can get a bit overpowering if used on every level.

For the Vinaigrette:
- In a medium bowl combine the vinegar, honey, sugar, mustard and lemon juice.  Wisk together well.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while constantly whisking to emulsify.
(I personally think the standard oil to vinegar ratio of 2:1 is a bit to oily for me, which is why I've toned it down a bit in this recipe.  However, if you prefer more oil, go ahead and add it in.  It will still be great.)

- Drizzle 1 or 2 spoonfuls of the vinaigrette over the salad and top with a few grinds of black pepper.

**Note:  Make sure to use a tart apple, as the vinaigrette is quite sweet.  Also, if you prefer a more chunky texture, you can chop the ingredients instead of slicing thin and toss them all with the vinaigrette in a bowl.  Enjoy!**

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Bethany said...

I can vouch for the fact that it is delish. :) Great first post, babe!

Joni said...

Yaayy!! Paul's back!! I've missed your recipes and your insightful comments! I'm not a big lettuce fan, so this salad looks great!

susan said...

OK, Paul....this sounds awesome and looks beautiful, too! I can't wait to try this and I'm so happy you're blogging again!

Dacia said...

wow! it looks so fancy and sounds scrumptious! thanks for sharing!

Kerri said...

Who needs lettuce anyway indeed! This sounds as delicious as your writing. Thanks for coming back!

Teri Dufilho said...

paul, you inspire me!.....i always love your thoughts about cooking, your recipes, and the pictures always look like they belong on the cover of some fancy it!... hope you're also planning on including posts with thoughts on God/family/music/scriptures/politics/people etc, !! to hear your thoughts on things... so glad you've returned to blogworld!!