We rang in 2013 quietly. We spent the late afternoon in a hardware store wondering why dimmer switches were so dang expensive. We bought one anyway along with a new dining room light. Then we headed off to the Burnaby Village Museum because I had never been and we’re fans of those old school pioneer-type museums with blacksmith and letterpress demonstrations. Plus it was free. We gazed at all the Christmas lights, watched the vintage carousel and I got envious of all the vintage kitchens cupboards, hutches and enamelware in the old farmsteads. Afterwards, we rang in the new year watching The Dust Bowl, snacking on cheese, clementines and homemade chex mix. We didn’t even bother with champagne. We stood out on our balcony, listened to the guy banging his pots and pans and kissed. I guess this means we’re officially old.
2012 was an interesting year. We bought our first car. We bought our first home. We took a long and winding road trip where we at pancakes in Denver, visited my family in Ontario and camped in Yellowstone National Park. We had our first car accident when a car slammed into us in line at the border to cross back into Canada. We spent a lot (a lot!) of time working which ate away at our time but produced some pretty exciting projects and prospects. It was a stressful year but a pretty good one too. I’m welcoming in 2013 with promises to be a better friend and to make time to work on personal projects. We’re talking about trips to Mexico City or Havana, Cuba. I’m excited for the possibilities and I’m ready for opportunities and adventure.
So how does this salad play into things? Well, I’m not sure exactly and I probably can’t justify a good segway except to say that this salad surprised me. Celery gets looked upon as a bit ho-hum. Not by me, though. I like it lightly sautéed with lots of garlic and red chili peppers and served over pasta with lots of Parmesan. It’s what got me through many a lean year back when I worked at a record store and scraped by on minimum wage while paying rent, paying off student loans and trying to eat 3 solid meals a day. But after hearing about celery salads from around the blogosphere, I decided to try my hand with my own version. And even for this celery lover, it surprised me by how refreshing and tangy it was. It’s got crunch obviously and the toasted almonds add a good nutty texture. The vinaigrette is tangy with both lemon juice and red wine vinegar and the Parmesan cheese lends some salty richness to the whole thing. I loved it and I brought it to a potluck this past weekend and it went over very well.
So get out of your celery ghetto and try something new & surprising!
tangy parmesan celery salad
8 stalks celery, sliced thin on the diagonal (if you have leaves, chop them up too)
2 T olive oil
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T red wine vinegar
1 t dijon mustard
1/2 t honey
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 green onion, sliced thinly
2 T grated Parmesan
1/4 c sliced almonds, toasted
Add the sliced celery & leaves to a medium sized serving bowl. Combine the oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and honey along with a pinch of salt & a good grind of pepper into a small jar. Put lid on jar and shake vigorously until thick, taste & adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour over celery and toss well. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan, green onions and almonds. Makes 4 servings.