Watery. Stringy. Bitter.
These insults are regularly lobbed at celery by picky provocateurs, myself included. Provided as an afterthought alongside buffalo wings, or stuck unceremoniously into a bloody Mary, it’s the last vegetable I would ever pick off the crudites platter. Even raw cauliflower florets have more appeal when angling for that last smear of hummus.
Limp stalks with little flavor to speak of, they’re all fiber, no flavor. Digestible dental floss, if you will.
Despite that, somehow, celery has wormed its way into the very foundation of French cuisine, thus cementing its place in the greater culinary canon abroad. Making up a third of the classic mirepoix, it seems like every soup, stew, sauce, braise, and beyond calls for one or two of these stringy green sticks. That’s how I end up with an abundance of the very vegetable I despise: Find a new recipe, buy a whole bundle, use about 1/30th of it. Rinse and repeat.
Still, I do staunchly believe that anything can be made delicious with the right treatment. Besides, I’m not one to waste perfectly good food, even if it’s not my favorite. Borrowing a page from childhood snacks to appeal to basic cravings, I sought inspiration from good old ants on a log. Thick, sticky peanut butter filling the the void with sweet raisin “ants” marching down the line, celery is merely the vehicle, adding mostly crunch, with a subtle salty undertone.
All grown up in a simple, crisp slaw, this is the recipe to win over celery haters. Texture is absolutely essential, no matter how you prep your celery; floppy stalks are never acceptable. If they get a bit tired waiting around in the vegetable crisper, slice about an inch off the bottoms and pop them in a jar of ice water, like a vegetal bouquet. In about an hour, the cells will absorb water and reinflate, good as new.
Having “too much” celery just became a very good problem, indeed.
Ants Off a Log Salad
Crisp stalks of thinly sliced celery are richly coated with a sweet and spicy peanut dresssing for an irresistable combination of flavors and textures. Chewy raisins and crisp, toasted nuts complete the picture, elevating the humble green vegetable into a truly craveable taste sensation.
- 1 Pound (5 - 6 Large Stalks) Celery, Thinly Sliced on the Diagonal
- 1 Small or 1/2 Large Tart Green Apple, Cored and Julienned
- 1/4 Cup Raisins
- 1/4 Cup Roasted, Unsalted Peanuts, Roughly Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1/4 Cup Ponzu
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 Clove Garlic, Finely Minced
- 1 Tablespoon Water
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Place the sliced celery, apple, raisins, and peanuts in a large bowl and toss to combine.
- Separately, whisk together the peanut butter, ponzu, soy sauce, garlic, water, salt, and red pepper flakes. Once smooth and fully incorporated, pour the dressing all over the vegetables and fruits.
- Toss vigorously to coat. Serve right away, or chill for an hour to serve cold.
This salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 - 5 days. For best results, leave the peanut out until just before serving to keep them crisp.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 737mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 4gSugar: 19gProtein: 7g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.
2 thoughts on “Serial Stalker”
This is such a fun way to make an adult dish out of a childhood treat, thanks!
I agree, I am not an avid fan of celery but this one looks delicious, the apples, peanut butter and ponzu would hide the flavors I dont like in a celery. Great job