This celery salad, made with crisp greens, crunchy celery, a light citrus dressing, and toasted nuts is a simple, easy side.
This refreshing salad has plenty of texture. We soften and flavor the celery with a brief soak in a lemony vinaigrette, then toss it with parsley, frisée and toasted walnuts, which add richness and a little umami. The salad is great with grilled meats and seafood, hearty braises or even a platter of cured meats and cheeses.–Christopher Kimball
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon or 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 10 medium (1 lb) celery stalks peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal (about 4 cups)
- 2 cups (1 oz) lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves torn if large
- 4 cups (6 oz) frisée chicory, or escarole, cored and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup walnuts or hazelnuts toasted and finely chopped
- In a large bowl, whisk together the zest, juice, and oil, then season with salt and pepper.
- Add the celery and toss to coat, then let stand for 10 minutes.
- Mix in the parsley, frisée, and nuts, then toss again. Season with salt and pepper.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Salads are often built in ratios; this one is 1 part parsley to 2 parts each celery and escarole. One fluffy head of escarole could have made a stock pot full of salad though; I only used about half a medium head to stick to the 4 cups called for, serving 4.
My vinaigrette was skewed more acid than usual, at 2 tablespoons lemon to 3 of oil, made extra fragrant with the added zest. In the end, the vinaigrette’s acidic zing counters escarole’s bitterness, smooths herbal notes from the parsley leaves, and tames celery’s saline crunch. That sprinkled handful of hazelnuts is an almost decadent way to finish this assertive, yet balanced salad.
This was really good alongside the rich, savory flavors and textures of the mushroom wellingtons.
This salad is a new favorite, the celery is what appealed to me. Quick and easy and delicious, I served it with the Lemon and Garlic Chicken Kebabs. It would be excellent with grilled fish. The vinaigrette is a blast of lemon and the hazelnuts are tasty crunch. I can imagine making this in the depths of winter and everything will be alright.
Celery, bitter greens, and walnuts, barely adorned with lemon, salt, and pepper—this concoction could easily be dismissed as “unappealing,” but I say it’s a great salad for grown-ups. In fact this refreshing and satisfyingly crunchy salad was just a thing to serve with a hearty lasagna laden with cheese and garlic. It reset the palate like a sorbet that is served between courses at a fancy restaurant. Treating fresh herbs as salad greens adds the salad unique characters no dressing can, and parsley does just that with this recipe. The fragrance gets released with every bite, followed by a pleasantly sharp bitterness, and it was lovely to have more than just a touch in this dish.
A note on frisée: It is sometimes called “curly endive” and the leaves can be sturdy and dark green. So if you give a visual swipe across the produce section at the market and don’t see a yellow-ish chartreuse head of delicate frills, look again.
Originally published February 01, 2021
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
I love recipes that make celery the star of the show. Most commonly used chopped and sauteed to start a number of dishes or as a dipper on a crudité platter, celery really can liven up a variety of other dishes with its crisp bite, fresh taste and nice shade of green. This salad was a lovely side dish next to a simple roast chicken and roasted garlic mashed potatoes.
I had limes on hand so I used 1 teaspoon of zest and 2 tablespoons of juice; the celery measured in at 4 cups, I used toasted hazelnuts here, and for the greens portion of this salad I used 2 cups of frisée and 2 cups of radicchio both torn into bite-sized pieces.
I liked the combination of colors in this salad and the crunchiness of everything. This salad served 4 people nicely. This is a side dish that is so simple, but for me, that is what makes it so memorable.