Celery Salad with Pecorino and Togarashi

Celery is easily one of the most underrated vegetables out there, and this celery salad is here to prove otherwise. It’s ⅓ of the classic french mirepoix, which adds a vegetal note to so many classic stews and soups. The stems can be eaten raw or cooked, and the leaves can be used as an herbaceous element. However, for most people, the thought of raw celery conjures one of two scenarios: a vegetable crudite with ranch or hummus, or peanut butter and raisin slathered kindergarten snacks.

Celery is rarely the star, and I’m here to say that it absolutely deserves to be front and center. This recipe was inspired by a celery salad I ate recently at Day Trip in Oakland. Their version was highly acidic and addicting, with a hint of habanero spice. 

Here’s why this celery salad recipe works:

  • Celery marinades in a heavy amount of white wine vinegar, which tenderizes the stems while still maintaining their crunch. 
  • Shichimi togarashi adds heat, citrus notes from the orange peel, and a subtle lip-numbing sensation from the sichuan peppercorns
  • Creme fraiche adds a luxurious mouthfeel, and calms some of the intense vinegar acidity. 
  • Pecorino romano provides a welcome punch of salinity.


Celery Salad with Pecorino and Togarashi

Course: SaladsDifficulty: Easy
Servings

2-3

servings
Total time

25

minutes


Celery marinades in a heavy amount of white wine vinegar, which tenderizes the stems while still maintaining its crunchiness. Shichimi togarashi adds heat, citrus notes from the orange peel, and a subtle lip-numbing sensation from the sichuan peppercorns. Creme fraiche adds a luxurious mouthfeel, and calms some of the intense vinegar acidity. Pecorino romano provides a welcome punch of salinity.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound celery (about 6 large stems), thoroughly washed and dried, leaves reserved

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 1.5-2 tbsp creme fraiche

  • 1 tsp Shichimi togarashi, plus more for topping

  • ½ heaping cup freshly shaved pecorino romano or parmesan. (Use a vegetable peeler to create thin shavings)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • At an angle, thinly slice the celery stems into ⅛ inch slices. Place into a bowl.
  • Rough chop any celery leaves that were on the stems and set aside.
  • Add 3 tbsp of white wine vinegar and a pinch of salt to the celery. Toss to combine and set in the fridge to marinade for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the celery from the fridge and add 1.5 tbsp of creme fraiche and the togarashi. Taste, and add more creme fraiche if needed.
  • Add the shaved parmesan and celery leaves to the bowl. Toss to combine, taste, and add any additional salt needed, along with some freshly ground black pepper.
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