This crisp and refreshing Celery Salad has walnuts, parmesan, and pomegranate arils for a unique salad that’s pretty enough for the holiday table.
If you often find yourself with leftover celery that needs using up, this is a great staple for turning it into a great side dish.
One day I set out to find new celery recipes and I discovered this recipe from Ina Garten.
I’ve changed a few minor things, but overall I discovered something delicious that also fixed my leftover celery problem.
Step by Step Overview:
To start, separate and clean a bunch of celery stalks under cold running water:
It’s perfectly fine to leave the celery leaves on, so long as they aren’t wilted.
Now you want to slice the celery into thin pieces.
I used my food processor for this to make the process really fast, but using a knife is perfectly acceptable too.
For the dressing, zest and juice a meyer lemon, making sure you remove the lemon zest before slicing. Add both to a small bowl.
FYI: a regular lemon is fine too, but when I see meyer lemons, I love cooking with them wherever I can.
Next, add minced shallots and extra virgin olive oil to the fresh lemon juice:
You may also use red onion if shallots are too pricey for you, however the shallots are milder.
Then add anchovy paste, black pepper, and salt:
Whisk for 30 seconds until everything is emulsified:
Pour the dressing all over the sliced celery in a large bowl:
Let the celery sit, and you’ll see that over the next hour, the celery will macerate and the texture will become even better:
Plate the celery with shaved parmesan cheese, parsley leaves, toasted walnuts, and pomegranate seeds:
I love the aged, savory flavor of the parmesan shavings, but feel free to try other cheeses like feta cheese or blue cheese.
There are many ways to change up what ingredients you include here. While the crunchy celery should be the star ingredient here, the best salad is really the one that most suits your tastes. Here are some ideas:
Apple – Add 1/2 cup of diced sweet apple instead of the pomegranate arils.
Fresh herbs – Swap the parsley for fresh thyme leaves, oregano, basil, or chives.
Vinegars – The fresh lemon is really wonderful here, but you may use vinegar for the acid instead, if you prefer. Red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar are my preferences here.
Yes, keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
For the dressing:
- zest of 1 meyer lemon
- juice of 1 meyer lemon (1/3 cup)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 a small shallot minced (2 tbsp)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp anchovy paste
For the celery salad:
- 1 bunch celery sliced (6 cups)
- 1 cup toasted walnuts
- 1/4 cup shaved parmesan
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/8 cup parsley leaves
- To make the dressing, whisk all the dressing ingredients together for 30 seconds until emulsified.
- Pour the dressing all over the sliced celery and let sit for 1 hour. The celery will macerate and soften slightly.
- Move the celery salad to a serving plate with a slotted spoon (leaving behind any excess liquid), then sprinkle on the toasted walnuts, parmesan, pomegranate seeds, and parsley leaves. Enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Post updated in December 2018. Originally published November 2015.