I'm a big fan of lettuce-free salads. First, I like them lettuce-free just for the variety. Practically every salad you eat in restaurant is lettuce dominated, so a salad like this is a great change of pace. The second reason I like lettuce-free salads is that they will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two. Lettuce based sales tend to wilt shortly after dressing is applied, so I don't get any tasty second helpings a day later.
This recipe is from The Bristol, an American restaurant in the Bucktown Neighborhood in Chicago. It is a spectacular blend of flavors: the slight bitterness of the celery and celery root; the heat of the horseradish; the sour of the lemon juice; and the silky smooth taste of extra virgin olive oil. This recipe serves four to six people, depending on serving size.
1 medium celery root (about 1 pound)
10 large celery stalks, thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal
1/2 cup celery leaves
1 small shallot, sliced into rings
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup flat leaf-parsley leaves
- Peel and halve celery root. Using a mandoline, very thinly slice one half. Cut other half into matchstick-size pieces.
- Combine celery root, celery stalks, shallot, lemon zest, and horseradish in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Let vegetables sit for 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
- Whisk oil and lemon juice in a small bowl; season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over vegetables. Add celery leaves and parsley and toss salad to combine. Divide among plates and serve.