Apple and celery salad is crisp, and tossed in a bright, lemony, creamy mayonnaise dressing. A simple yet elegant side dish, perfect for any time you’re looking for something different.
Adapted from Regula Ysewijn | The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook | Weldon Owen, 2020
Celery was often used as a salad vegetable in the past. In this no-fuss combination, it is paired with apple and then dressed with mayonnaise. Using a simple mayonnaise dressing for finishing everything from salads to cold cooked meats and vegetables was popular in the Edwardian kitchen.–Regula Ysewijn
Apple and celery Salad FAQs
You’ll score the most leaves by looking for a full bunch, with dark green outer stalks. Pale leaves have a more delicate taste and texture, while the darker leaves are grassier and a little tougher. Pick the leaves off the thin stems at the top of the stalk, wrap them in a slightly damp kitchen towel and place the bundle in an open plastic bag in your vegetable drawer.
The strings of celery are tough and extra-fibrous and give the stalks their support. They’re unpleasant to eat. Stringing the celery gives you all the flavor and crunch without any of the tough chew.
Apple and Celery Salad
- 4 stalks (8 oz) celery including tender, young leaves*
- 1 good eating apple such as Granny Smith, Cox’s Orange Pippin, or Braeburn
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- Using a small, sharp knife, peel away the tough outer strings from each celery stalk. Thinly slice the stalks crosswise on the diagonal, then coarsely chop the leaves.
- Peel the apple, quarter through the stem, and cut away the core. Starting from the short side, slice each quarter as thinly as possible. Working quickly, dump the slices into a bowl and toss them with the lemon juice, coating evenly to prevent browning.
- Add the celery slices and leaves to the apple slices, then spoon in the mayonnaise and cream. Stir gently to coat the apple and celery.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, garnish with mint, if using, and serve.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Organic celery and apples are two staples in my fridge at all times. Both are so versatile–great for snacking with nut butter, great add-ins for pureed soups, or great on their own as the star of a recipe like this one. Celery is definitely an underappreciated veggie; it has such a wonderful crunch when raw in salads, but the flavor is so floral with the tiniest hint of pepper, it truly is a game changer.
The combination of the fresh, crisp celery slices with sweet apple is so refreshing! I used a Pink Lady apple (my favorite), a total of 1/4 teaspoon of fresh pepper, and fresh mint. The creamy dressing really did round everything out.
I served this apple and celery salad on the side of chipotle baked salmon with some roasted sweet potato wedges. I can see this salad being a nice alternative to a traditional Waldorf salad at lunch, maybe on a bed of watercress with some roasted, sliced chicken as well.
I love apple and celery together in Waldorf salad so I decided to give this apple celery salad a try. Unfortunately, since I had that thought in my head, I found that I kept missing the raisins and walnuts as I ate the salad! For anyone who can’t eat nuts and/or is philosophically opposed to raisins, however, this would be a great, more basic alternative to the Waldorf.
The dressing was bright and creamy. It doesn’t specify the type of mayonnaise and all I keep on hand is Hellman’s light mayonnaise, so that’s what I used. Employing a full-fat mayonnaise would make the dressing richer, but we thought it was fine as it was.
Since I didn’t have mint, I sprinkled a handful of chopped parsley over the salad at the end instead. That added some nice color.
I love this apple and celery salad. My mother used to make a salad very similar to this and it was my job to peel the apple(s). It graced our Thanksgiving table many times. Sometimes she added walnuts or pecans, but celery was always the star!
The ribs nearer the center were better, as the outer ribs were more mature and had more “strings attached” (and who wants that?). A few radishes added color, as well as texture.
I’ve made this several additional times and each time I think we enjoy it more. Last time, I added a bit of grated lemon zest (about 1/2 of the zest from a small lemon) and we liked that addition very much. This salad was wonderful with a pork roast, with lamb burgers, and with fried chicken!
I found this salad kept well. It could certainly be made several hours ahead, even overnight, without compromising its texture.
Make coleslaw or sour cream cucumber salad? Try this apple celery salad next time instead. It’s light, refreshing, and wonderful with barbecue, fried chicken, and roasts, to name a few.
Putting celery front and center in a dish may be new to some, but the beautiful chartreuse veggie has a lot going for it. It’s uniquely fragrant, crunchy—do peel and remove some of the strings for an addictive airy crispness—and versatile fresh or cooked.
It marries the apple flavor so well in this recipe, and I loved the addition of mint. The apple of my choice was Pink Lady, my go-to when I need apples that have a nice balance of tartness and sweetness, and retain the crunch over time. I used two different kinds of mint from my garden: spearmint and apple mint.
I used a Mutsu apple (a very good eating apple that doesn’t brown quickly) and celery from the farmers market. Had mint been in season, I might have used it as the suggested garnish. It was a nice simple salad with lots of CRUNCH!, and because it was very white without the garnish, apart from the flecks of freshly ground pepper, we served it atop a good amount of lettuce bedding, to add some green color to the plating.
We ate this with thick slices of a seedy freshly baked bread, unadorned, and a couple of handfuls of sweetly roasted mixed nuts, all of which made for a quick, easy, and pleasant lunch on the go.
Originally published October 18, 2021