We're getting ready for an excursion to the beach. It seems to be the popular thing to do around here. Every conversation is a rotation of "we're going to... just came back from...the beach." And yet I'm feeling lukewarm or perhaps even cold to the idea. My mind is on San Francisco, New York, Portland and Boston, and if I thought bigger, Paris, London and Tokyo, places that more likely inspire excitement than relaxation. We'll put this workaholic to the R&R test this week as iPhones, iPads and Macbooks get tucked away. Will the absence of noise drive me bonkers? Will I be so tormented by the calm that I surreptitiously pull out a pile of accounting books to avoid the gentle rocking of the ocean? I certainly hope not but there is a part of me that wonders: how did this California girl not inherit the beach bum gene? Odd.
While I dig around for that beach bum gene, I present you with a light summer salad composed of crisp thin slices of celery, beans integrated with sweet currants, crunchy slices of toasted almonds and a splash of sunny lemon Parmesan dressing. It's a simple salad that calls for very few ingredients but is surprisingly good and satisfying.
Parmesan Celery Salad Recipe
From 101 Cookbooks
- 8 large celery stalks, stripped of strings
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
- 1 1/2 cups / 10 oz / 285 g cooked cannellini or garbanzo beans, heated (home-cooked is recommended)
- 3 tablespoons currants (or golden raisins)
- 1/2 cup / 1 1/2 oz / 40 g sliced almonds, deeply toasted
- sea salt
- freshly chopped herbs (or herb flowers), or reserved celery leaves
Slice the celery stalks quite thinly - 1/8-inch or so. Then, in a small bowl, make a paste with the olive oil, lemon juice, and Parmesan. Set aside. In a large bowl toss the heated beans with the olive-Parmesan mixture. When well combined, add the celery, currants, and most of the almonds. Toss once more. Taste and add a bit of salt if needed. Serve in a bowl or platter topped with herb flowers and/or celery leaves.